University Diaries
A professor of English describes American university life.
Aim: To change things.
Contact UD at: margaret-dot-soltan-at-gmail-dot-com

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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

In Which We Are Reminded...

...that as a Harvard-affiliated plagiarist, Ms. V. is in excellent company:

"While colleges tend to respond very harshly to student plagiarism, when it comes to professors they often look the other way," according to Chronicle reporter Thomas Bartlett.

They did for best-selling historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, who has a new book out about Abraham Lincoln, even though she's never come clean about the passages she internalized from other authors most notably Lynne McTaggart. McTaggart wrote

"Kathleen Kennedy: Her Life and Times," which Goodwin "internalized" for her book "The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys."

Is it a coincidence that Goodwin is a former Harvard history professor and a member of its Board of Overseers?

Come to think of it, others accused of internalizing for their books have included famous Harvard law professors, including Lawrence Tribe, whose "God Save This Honorable Court" internalized parts of Henry J. Abraham's "Justices, Presidents and Senators," and Charles Ogletree, whose "All Deliberate Speed" internalized passages from Jack Balkin's "What Brown v. Board of Education Should Have Said."

So let's not be too hard on Viswanathan. In her crimson ivory tower, internalizing isn't exactly original.