Author pulls a Goodwin, busted by Marvel

New author R. Fred Ruhlman's new book, Captain Henry Wirz and Andersonville Prison: A Reappraisal, is loaded with uncredited borrowing says ACW author William Marvel.

Big local report here. Skimpy AP story here. Supplemented AP story here.

Ruhlman uses the Doris Kearns Goodwin defense:
He said he greatly admired Marvel, had read his work extensively - "perhaps too much" - and obviously used it multiple times as a source for his own work. Ruhlman said that he was a novice and innocent of willful plagiarism but acknowledged grave oversights in crediting the work of Marvel.

"I would characterize the extent as 'pages and pages' of text that has been lightly rearranged and doctored to appear original, and without counting the work of other historians that he has appropriated," Marvel wrote in an e-mail.

He added, "I should also note that Ruhlman's alleged manuscript research duplicated my own almost exactly, with the exception of four documents relating to one Confederate surgeon. In one instance I found him repeating the only bibliographic error in my entire book, and it would be incredibly coincidental for him to have made that transcription error through his own research."