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Old 10-13-02, 02:43 PM   #1
namrfumot
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Stephen Ambrose died!!

http://www.yahoo.com/s/34901

He may have been more of a "storyteller" than and actual researcher, but I loved all his books
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Old 10-13-02, 02:47 PM   #2
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Turns out he's just copying somebody else that died previously.
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Old 10-13-02, 04:06 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by Groucho
Turns out he's just copying somebody else that died previously.
OUCH! That was cold. If you read what he was actually accused of, you'd back off. He had quotes from people/books that were footnoted, but didnt have quotation marks around them. Technically what he did is allowable. many history papers I wrote for school were similar. If an author had a good idea, I would use it and put a footnote at the end of the paragraph, giving credit to the original author.
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Old 10-14-02, 08:58 AM   #4
Deke Rivers
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that sucks..i will miss his writing..he had a way of bringing history into the mainstream through his writing..
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Old 10-14-02, 05:32 PM   #5
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Old 10-15-02, 01:19 AM   #6
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thats sad.
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Old 10-15-02, 01:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by namrufmot
He had quotes from people/books that were footnoted, but didnt have quotation marks around them. Technically what he did is allowable.
This is actually the spin that Ambrose's people put on what he did. He literally took other people's writing and put it in his book as his own. And remember, he wasn't writing text books, he was writing published material sold under his name.

That being said, it's no fun when anyone dies.

But Groucho's post was funny.
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Old 10-15-02, 04:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by BoatDrinks
This is actually the spin that Ambrose's people put on what he did. He literally took other people's writing and put it in his book as his own. And remember, he wasn't writing text books, he was writing published material sold under his name.
if he footnoted the passages, i'd hardly say he was trying to fool you into thinking that were his own words. you can just look up that little old number in the back of the book and see where he got them.
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Old 10-15-02, 04:59 PM   #9
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"Undaunted Courage" is a fascinating book about Lewis & Clark, really brought the whole experience alive for me. The whole plagiarism boondoggle was nonsense, anybody who's familiar with historical nonfiction could see that the 'controversy' was more simple typographic errors than malicious intent on anybody's part.
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Old 10-15-02, 05:14 PM   #10
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Calling it "typographical errors" is ridiculous, imo. If, when pointed out, Ambrose had said, "Oh, yeah, I failed to give due credit" then fine. But the guy denied it. He claimed that it was only a few sentences in one book. Then it was revealed that it was not just a few sentences, but entire passages. Anyone with minimal knowledge about publishing knows there's a huge difference. When you have paragraphs and paragraphs of someone else's work verbatim how can you think that simply putting a non-specific footnote is fine?

Ambrose had at least 5 passages in "The Wild Blue" alone, 3 of which were not even footnoted until later editions. He also had numerous passages in other books of his that were taken verbatim from other writer's work.

The amount of work that was used makes it impossible (imho) to be written off as simple "typos."

I think as he got older he relied too much on his family of researchers, failing to take there findings and make them his own.
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Old 10-15-02, 05:26 PM   #11
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A college kid may try to plagarize a work and think he can get away with it. But an author whose books sell by the millions, and are scrutinized by scholars the world over, would not try such a thing on purpose. They know they will get caught.

Regardless, he made history accesible to the masses, and made the WWII generation seem cool to today's youth.
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Old 10-16-02, 09:35 AM   #12
Deke Rivers
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how do you plagiarise history? thses are events that have taken place so no one has a copy right on them..who gives a ****? his books were awesome and actually made reading about history enjoyable...it too bad..now we need some one else to fill in for him..maybe Groucho????
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Old 10-16-02, 07:26 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Deke Rivers
how do you plagiarise history? thses are events that have taken place so no one has a copy right on them


There are two definitions of history to consider.
(I'm being simplistic here)

1) What actually happened in the past
2) A historian's interpretation of what happened in the past

Now, because we can never know exactly what happened in the past, because we weren't there, we have to rely on the historians interpretation based on the evidence he has. You can read a hundred different interpretations of the events that tooks place during the Civil War.

So, of course you can't plagerize the actual events, but you can plagerize the thoughts and ideas of other historians -- as well as their words.

Quote:

who gives a ****?


I would hope everybody. However, I will settle for the authors and of the books that were plagerized and anyone else that publishes work.

Quote:

his books were awesome and actually made reading about history enjoyable...


I haven't actually read any of his books, but I heard they were pretty enjoyable. And they would have been just as enjoyable if he had given credit to the authors and historians he borrowed from. It wouldn't have even cost him any money to do so.
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Last edited by DodgingCars; 10-16-02 at 10:38 PM.
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Old 10-17-02, 08:50 AM   #14
Deke Rivers
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Quote:
Originally posted by DodgingCars



Now, because we can never know exactly what happened in the past, because we weren't there, we have to rely on the historians interpretation based on the evidence he has. You can read a hundred different interpretations of the events that tooks place during the Civil War.

B]
depends on how far back you go..Ambrose wrote a lot on WWII so he got a lot of his stuff straight from the vets who were there..not just his own interpretation..so if a vet repeats the same story to lets say three different historians who "owns" those words???
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Old 10-17-02, 01:19 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Deke Rivers
depends on how far back you go..Ambrose wrote a lot on WWII so he got a lot of his stuff straight from the vets who were there..not just his own interpretation..so if a vet repeats the same story to lets say three different historians who "owns" those words???
That's considered a primary source. You still have to give credit to your source, even if its a primary source. Who "owns" these words? The people that spoke them or wrote them first. You have to give credit, even to primary sources so that people can check your work to make sure it's factual.

However, I believe Ambrose was accused of not giving credit to the historians (secondary source: i.e. their interpretation of the primary source).
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Old 10-17-02, 02:26 PM   #16
Deke Rivers
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he always mentioned the vets name when quoting them and thier experiences..as far as other historians I cant say ..
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Old 10-17-02, 03:43 PM   #17
DodgingCars
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Quote:
Originally posted by Deke Rivers
he always mentioned the vets name when quoting them and thier experiences..as far as other historians I cant say ..
To be honest, I'm not familiar with accusations against him. Some people seem to know more than I do (above).

Though a quick Google search came up with this:

Quote:
Lately, however, some historians have begun to wonder about the toll of his prodigious pace. On Saturday, he
acknowledged that his current best seller, "The Wild Blue," inappropriately borrowed the words and phrases of
three passages from a book by the historian Thomas Childers, "The Wings of Morning." A closer examination of
"The Wild Blue" by The New York Times indicates that in at least five other places Mr. Ambrose borrowed words,
phrases and passages from other historians' books. Mr. Ambrose again acknowledged his errors and promised to
correct them in later editions.
http://www.lclark.edu/~levinger/auxi...lagiarism.html

It appears that he was borrowing from secondary sources without giving acknowledgement.
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Old 10-20-02, 02:31 AM   #18
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he wasn't borrowing them....he was stealing them and passing them off as his own. I do give the man a lot of credit for much of his work, but his plagiarism is indefensible. Cutting and pasting a paragraph from another book is not research.

Of course, I'm never heartened by the death of anybody. But at the same time i'd hate to see his many transgressions whitewashed just because he passed on. I'm currently completing my doctorate in History, and as such can say wholeheartedly that his reputation, although never terribly strong in academic circles, was severly compromised by those revelations. It's too bad that someone who did so much to make history more accessible did so in such suspect ways. The authors he copied deserve much of the credit for his success, but sadly they will never get it.
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Old 10-23-02, 01:33 PM   #19
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I was sad to see him go. I haven't read much of his work, but I had breakfast with him earlier this year (before the news of his cancer broke). He was a very nice man and had quite a few good stories to tell. It was certainly an interesting breakfast.
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Old 11-04-02, 10:15 PM   #20
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I don't understand the defense of his behavior. If I had done in college what he was accused of doing (and from what I've read about it, actually did), I would have been turned in for academic dishonesty.

I realize it's tough to write a history book without being influenced by what you've read on the subject before. But if you can't take the time to find new information or quote the source you got it from properly (which includes quoting, not just referencing, when what you write is substanially similar), then you don't deserve to make money from it.
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Old 11-05-02, 10:08 AM   #21
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well I personally dont give **** how he wrote his books..I enjoyed all that he wrote and his books will sorely be missed by me
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Old 11-05-02, 10:04 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by Deke Rivers
well I personally dont give **** how he wrote his books..I enjoyed all that he wrote and his books will sorely be missed by me
My thoughts exactly. I only started reading his work within the past year, but his books really brought history alive for me. Despite his faults, the man knew the importance of history and actually made it interesting. He'll be missed.
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Old 11-06-02, 03:15 PM   #23
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Deke & jedi,

I thinks that really sad. People should be held accountable for their actions. If you wrote an important piece of work and someone stole your words without giving you credit, I would think you would be upset -- and rightfully so.
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Old 11-07-02, 10:40 AM   #24
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I thoroughly enjoy his books, too, and still do, BUT when the accusations came out a while ago (I was still in school getting my history degree) I lost a lot of respect for the man as an historian. How hard is it to actually to use footnotes and cite resources, especially when you are receiving loads of credit and getting paid handsomely for it? What he did was inexcusable. It was laziness and utter disregard for other's work. They should posthumously re-cite all of his books.
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Old 11-07-02, 11:13 AM   #25
Deke Rivers
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Quote:
Originally posted by DodgingCars
Deke & jedi,

I thinks that really sad. People should be held accountable for their actions. If you wrote an important piece of work and someone stole your words without giving you credit, I would think you would be upset -- and rightfully so.
then that is an issue between the parties involved..not me... I enjoy the books..what am I suppose to do? boycott the mans books and deprive myself of a good read??? that woul;d be like avoiding a certain movie because the star of the movie stole something..i think you are sad for letting this stuff bother you that much
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