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Summer 2002

Summer 2002

Volume 78, Number 3

• The Good, The Bad, and the Phony: Six Famous Historians and their Critics by Michael Nelson
• The Levy Family and Monticello by Melvin. I. Urofsky
• Seasons by Emily Couric
• Fiction by Matt Freidson, James Conrad McKinley, Henry Alley, Sheri Joseph, Ben Brooks
• Poetry by Alan Williamson, John Witte, Joseph Lease, Stephen Margulies, James Tate, Stephen Dobyns, Mark Halliday

[toc] Table of Contents


Summer 2002

Table of Contents

The Good, the Bad, and the Phony: Six Famous Historians and Their Critics

What a bad time it has been for the nation's best-known historians—that is, for the small number of historical writers, some affiliated with academic institutions and some not, whose books regularly inhabit the bestseller lists, whose faces frequently appear on television, and whose speaking fees reach well into the five figures. The entire roster consists of six people: Stephen E. Ambrose, Michael Beschloss, Joseph J. Ellis, Doris Kearns Goodwin, David McCullough, and Edmund Morris. All but Morris have recently been accused, in widely read publications and in some cases on talk shows, of offenses ranging from incompetence and superficiality to plagiarism and outright fabrication. Morris had his own spell of notoriety three years ago, when he published a "semi-fictional" (his term) biography of Ronald Reagan.


Editor’s Desk




Author Profiles

Michael Nelson is professor of political science at Rhodes College. A former editor of The Washington Monthly, he has published twenty books on the American presidency, national elections, and higher education.

Melvin I. Urofsky is Professor Emeritus of History at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he continues as director of the doctoral program in public policy.