Saturday, February 15, 2003

Revisionist history of revisionist history?

Soft Skull Press will republish Michael Belleisles' Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture.

When allegations of scholarly misconduct arose "...Emory University in Atlanta appointed a committee to investigate the allegations. Following the committee's report (available on Emory University's website), Bellesiles resigned from Emory, and Columbia University rescinded the prestigious Bancroft Prize it had awarded the author. Last month, Knopf decided to end their contractual relationship with the author.

What the VPC's press release fails to state directly is that Bellesiles was discredited for using questionable methods & possibly fabricating research in order to reach his rather shakey conclusions. They do imply however that at least part of Mr. Bellesiles troubles are due to the "smear machine" of the NRA. Here is a brief account of who actually called Bellesiles to the carpet.

Gary Wills' initial review of the book is quoted in the article. I thought it only fair to add this Op/ed about Mr. Wills involvement in the Bellesiles saga from Larry Pratt, executive Director of GOA. Here is the whole series of Op/eds from Larry Pratt on the Bellesiles book. You'll also find some words on Bowling for Columbine if you're interested.

Here is the National Review Oct. '99 review of Arming America by Clayton Cramer & David Kopel.

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