Civil War plagiarists, an endless supply

An alert friend of this blog noticed that newer book reviews like this one were failing to make mention of the plagiarism committed by James Lee McDonough earlier in his career.

The problem is even worse than that - trying searching for "James Lee McDonough" and "scandal" and you will not easily or quickly find traces of this professor's crime.

The victim was Richard McMurry and if you like dark humor, search for both names. You'll find them sometimes named together, named in tandem, as equivalent experts on certain topics.

Here is a taste of what caused McDonough's book to be recalled and destroyed (click to enlarge). This clip is from a college anti-plagiarism guide, no less:

McMurry, reviewing McDonough's book, encountered his own work and complained. That seems to have been the beginning and end of it.

Former cat burglars are not employed in jewelry stores. Ex-bank robbers find no work in banks. How then is it that so many Civil War plagiarists find continuous employment?

My sense is that Civil War authors are taken no more seriously than entertainers. Our favorite actor is out of rehab - can't wait for his or her next starring role. Hey, the star linebacker served his 60 days in jail - can't wait to see him play in the next game.

Plagiarists benefit greatly from the lighthearted way the public views historians. Historians, meanwhile, don't stick together and they don't much care about plagiarism, either. The field gets the respect it deserves.