Crimes of History

A book with one name on the cover may turn out to have a team of contributors. Most readers may never have pondered the difference, but a history book whose author alone has carried out all of the research and writing is almost always a more dependable work of scholarship than one whose multiple cooks can easily spoil the broth.

Exceptions to that generalization, as in the case of Michael Bellesiles, often involve misconduct far more insidious than simple plagiarism. — David J. Garrow reviews Peter Charles Hoffer’s Past Imperfect: Facts, Fiction, Fraud — American History from Bancroft and Parkman to Ambrose, Bellesiles, Ellis, and GoodwinCrimes of History (Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars)