Revenge of the quote (UNCLASSIFIED)

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Thu Aug 16 03:07:07 UTC 2012

At 8/15/2012 11:08 AM, Mullins, Bill AMRDEC wrote:
>Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
>Caveats: NONE
>Zakaria did do some bad things with respect to his blog post that copied
>stuff from Time Magazine, and has owned up to that -- no question.

And, apparently, bad things in copying stuff from Jill Lepore into
his book.  Or is there a refutation of that charge?

>But the issue with the Andy Grove quote is bogus.  Fahri made
>accusations against Zakaria without checking his facts -- Zakaria did
>credit Prestowitz in the original hardcover and paperback (as Amazon's
>search inside the book shows) with chapter endnotes at the end of the

I took Fahri's assertions about the first editions at face value, on
the presumption that they would be so checkable he wouldn't make a
mistake or mistatement.  My bad -- perhaps I should have been more
suspicious of someone (Fahri) who conflates plagiarism with absence
of citation (as I criticized Fahri for in my previous message).

>Copies of the relevant citations are shown here:
>Zakaria's publisher calls Fahri's assertions "fundamentally untrue":
>Looks to me like Zahri and the Washington Post screwed the pooch on this
>And I'd respectfully disagree with Joel's statement:
> > Something put in quotes should always be cited to its
> > source.
>Obviously, there are many nonfiction books in political science and
>recent history to which this generalization doesn't apply.  Bob
>Woodward's "The Brethren", and Gene Kranz's "Failure is not an Option"
>are two that I've read that I was able to confirm do not have end- or
>footnotes.  The current NYTimes best seller "The Amateur" by Edward
>Klein (about Barack Obama in the White House) doesn't seem to have end-
>or footnotes (although it does have a bibliography and list of
>interviews).  Neither does Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman's "The Return
>of Depression Economics".
>If the author decides to write a book without specific notes and
>citations, that doesn't make the author wrong (but it certainly may
>affect the perception of the book).

My difference with Bill is, I think, that I consider the absence of
citation of quotations somewhere between D and F on the scale of
scholarliness and ethicalness.  [I assume Bill can demonstrate that
Woodward, Kranz, and Klein actually do put some statements in
quotes.  Or do I need to check the primary sources for that?  :-) ]

And Garson wrote, presumably for my benefit:
>Thanks for the update, Bill. The Washington Post has now climbdowned
>the article.

Thanks for combing over (comb-overing?) this, Garson.


> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On
>Behalf Of
> > Joel S. Berson
> > Sent: Wednesday, August 15, 2012 8:53 AM
> > Subject: Re: Revenge of the quote
> >
> > ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> > -
> > Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> > Poster:       "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
> > Subject:      Re: Revenge of the quote
> >
> > -
> >
> > Naming the speaker is not the same as citing the source.  In contrast
> > to Victor, I believe Zakaria was incorrect ethically.
> >
> > If Zakaria found the statement by Grove in Prestowitz's book, then he
> > should have acknowledged that.  "Grove said [X], as quoted in
> > Prestowitz."  Or "... said [X] in an interview with Prestowitz".  And
> > also included a footnote citing Prestowitz, page Y.
> >
> > Zakaria did the wrong thing by not citing his source.  He did a
> > useful thing by naming the speaker.  (I find little more irritating
> > in reading scholarly books than finding a quotation cited only to
> > someone who published it, leaving the speaker and often the date
> > unknown and forcing the reader to go to another book to get that
> >
> > But Farhi (the writer of does some wrong things
> > also.  If one reads further in his article, it appears that Zakaria's
> > sin was not citing his source for Grove's words (that is, not
> > acknowledging Prestowitz), rather than using Grove's words.  But
> > Farhi does not make that absolutely clear, since he uses the words
> > "source" and "attribution" without explicitly distinguishing "naming"
> > vs. "citing" and without saying explicitly whether Grove's words were
> > or were not placed within quotes.  (In fact, there is an implication
> > in Farhi's article that Grove's words *were* in quotes: "Zakaria, in
> > an interview Monday, defended the practice of not attributing quotes
> > in a popular book").  If Zakaria did not put Grove's words in quotes,
> > then he plagiarized.  If he put the words in quotes but omitted
> > Grove's name, then he was sloppy.  But if Zakaria put Grove's words
> > in quotes and named Grove (but not Prestowitz), then in Parhi's lead
> > sentence -- "Columnist and TV host Fareed Zakaria, who acknowledged
> >
> > d2a13e249eb2_story.html>
> > parts of a magazine article last week, appears to have also published
> > without attribution a passage from a 2005 book" -- Farhi is
> > associating a lack of source citation with plagiarizing.
> >
> > Another sentence in Farhi's article reads:
> >
> > >On Friday, Zakaria apologized to Time magazine, its readers and
> > >historian Jill Lepore for an Aug. 20 Time column on gun control that
> > >he acknowledged contained material taken without attribution from an
> > >article Lepore wrote in April for the New Yorker magazine.
> >
> > This reads to me more like Zakaria used Lepore's "material" without
> > either putting it in quotes or attributing it to Lepore.  That
> > certainly is unethical and plagiarism.
> >
> > And I am not sympathetic with Zakaria's assertion in the following
> >
> > >Zakaria, in an interview Monday, defended the practice of not
> > >attributing quotes in a popular book. "As I write explicitly [in the
> > >book], this is not an academic work where everything has to be
> > >acknowledged and footnoted," his said. The book contains "hundreds"
> > >of comments and quotes that aren't attributed because doing so, in
> > >context, would "interrupt the flow for the reader," he said.
> >
> > Something put in quotes should always be cited to its
> > source.  Footnote markers are at most an initial and temporary
> > interruption for readers not accustomed to them.  And using endnotes
> > disturbs the flow even less.
> >
> > I see no legal issue -- either with what Zakaria did or with quoting
> > Grove without naming him but citing Prestowitz.  Publishing a few of
> > Grove's words attributed to Grove seems fair use.  Not acknowledging
> > one's source is not cricket, but not illegal.  Quoting someone's
> > words without naming the speaker but citing where one obtained the
> > quote is not illegal either.  AFAIK.
> >
> > Joel
> >
> > At 8/15/2012 03:29 AM, Victor Steinbok wrote:
> > >
> > >>Zakaria's 2008 book, "The Post-American World," contains a quote
> > >>former Intel Corp. chief executive Andy Grove about the nation's
> > >>economic power. "America is in danger of following Europe down the
> > >>tubes, and the worst part is that nobody knows it," Grove says in
> > >>Zakaria's book. "They're all in denial, patting themselves on the
> > >>as the Titanic heads straight for the iceberg full speed ahead."
> > >>The first edition of Zakaria's book, which became a bestseller,
> > >>no mention of the comment's source, nor does a paperback version of
> > >>"Post-American World" published in 2009.
> > >>In fact, Grove's comment was published three years earlier in "Three
> > >>Billion New Capitalists: The Great Shift of Power to the East," by
> > >>former Commerce Department official Clyde V. Prestowitz.
> > >>In an interview Monday, Prestowitz said Grove made the comment in an
> > >>interview with him that was conducted while Prestowitz was
> > >>his book. The quote appears in the book's first chapter.
> > >
> > >FWIW, Zakaria seems to be correct both legally and ethically.
> > >Irrespectively where the original quote came from, Zakaria did the
> > >thing and cited its author, not the reteller. Prestowitz has no
> > >copyright claim, unless he actually made up the quote himself, but
> > >*he* is in the ethical hot water, not Zakaria.
> > >
> > >For some people here, however, this practice makes quote-sleuthing
> > >complicated.
> > >
> > >VS-)
> > >
> > >------------------------------------------------------------
> > >The American Dialect Society -
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society -
>Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
>Caveats: NONE
>The American Dialect Society -

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