Notes on plagiarism

Phillip Magness:

So it turns out that my earlier suspicionsabout possible academic integrity issues in Kevin M. Kruse’s scholarship were warranted. After finding hints of borrowed textual structures and word phrasing in a 2015 book by the Princeton historian, I decided to take a closer look at some of his other work. I turned to his 2005 book White Flight, which was the basis of Kruse’s essay in the 1619 Project. Another suspiciously-similar passage popped up in its opening chapter, which prompted me to check the dissertation that the book derived from. In short order, I discovered that Kruse appears to have plagiarized large blocks of text from two other books by scholars Ronald Bayor and Thomas Sugrue. The details are written up here in Reason.

The discoveries about Kruse’s dissertation came as a shock to the political activist wing of the history profession, where Kruse is a well-known social media star famous for his “Historian here…” twitter threads that purport to correct both real and imagined errors of fact and interpretation by conservative-leaning political commentators. Most conceded that the evidence looked very bad for Kruse, but more than a few of his online fans redirected their ire at me personally for having discovered the similarities. Unfortunately, their decision to “shoot the messenger” was expected. In today’s hyper-politicized academy, evidence is almost wholly subordinate to a far-left ideological narrative.

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