Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Still more on Jason Bell's review of Carhart's "Lost Triumph"

Further to an IPBiz post (More on Jason Bell's review of Carhart's book), LBE emailed the technical editor of The Army Lawyer (Charles J. Strong):

I believe the book review by Jason M. Bell contains an error in footnote 8 in citing to page 23 of Carhart's book, which page offers no support for Bell's contention.

See also

Lawrence B. Ebert
July 18, 2007

There was no immediate response.

Apart from the error in footnote 8, there is a more intriguing issue. Bell criticized Carhart for failing to note the account of Captain William E. Miller. There are at least two problems here.

First, Carhart cited to Miller, so Carhart knew about Miller’s account but did not mention the portion brought up by Bell.

Second, if Miller’s account is credited, then Carhart’s theory is not truly novel. Bell can't have it both ways. Additionally, one notes Carhart cited portions of Brooke-Rawle’s account; as noted previously on IPBiz (and on civilwarcavalry), the Brooke-Rawle account would also undercut the claim of novelty.

Of course, as pre-saged by the "derriere" post, the next thing we will be arguing about is the exact scope of Carhart's argument. It's different from Miller/Brooke-Rawle because ....; it's different from Stackpole because ....; it's different from Paul Walker because ..... Of course, in good scholarship, those arguments should have been placed IN THE CARHART BOOK IN THE FIRST PLACE. Apart from Bell screwing up his own footnote 8, Bell also misses the bigger picture that all of this should have been discussed in detail already. This is but a different variation of Jorge Santayana's prediction.

Merely as an aside, note Books of tricks. [Publishers failed to spot plagiarised versions of some Jane Austen classics sent out by a disgruntled author. But what does it prove?]


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