Originally posted on Practically Historical:

Stephen Ambrose was not yet cold.. in his grave and critics were vindictively trampling on it.  Once respected and beloved, Ambrose spent his final days  defending his legacy from merciless attacks.  What had he done to precipitate such a demise?  Ambrose had written history books  people liked.

Ambrose promoted remembrance

Plagiarism was the charge… and in academic circles it nearly amounts to a death sentence.  “Reporters” discovered instances in Ambrose’s  book The Wild Blue of passages that were “copied.”  He apologized, then clarified that he had not committed plagiarism, but had not cited the other book according to current academic standards.  Such a statement incited a witch hunt through his anthology for similarities with his source material.   Ambitious newshounds went as far as to dig through the deceased man’s doctoral thesis.  The ensuing maelstrom was a bizarre display of victimization of veterans, augmentation of little known authors, and academic lock…

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  1. Excellent, and to answer your question. Of course, it can, it’s merely a question of presentation, which of course you know. It’s the story of man, what could be more interesting.

    In my case, in the 60s, by October I had read my textbook for the year, and thoroughly enjoyed it. In the late 90s, I was helping my stepdaughter with her American History, the texbook was simply unreadable.

    These historians who carp about Ambrose, as before they carped about Catton, and others, need to learn to write, not tear down those who do.

    In truth, one would get a better history course from your posts, and maybe some of mine, and a few others, than from almost any of the current textbooks that I’ve seen.

    I’ll be reblogging your original post. Good job, Sir.

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