Political correctness and cultural bias

11 11 2009

Jack Cashill has written a fascinating article detailing the 1977 Pultizer prize winning book “Roots” written by a fraudulent Haley.  http://www.brookesnews.com/090911cashill_print.html

“There is no better case study of a literary cover-up than that surrounding the publishing phenomenon known as Roots: The Saga of an American Family.”

I don’t want to draw any political conclusions from the article.  I just thought it was fascinating how little people (the public, the Pultizer commitee and the newspapers) cared that this book not only contained plagarism but was also faked.  When released, apparently the author Haley claimed the contents were true. 

This could be a good case study for Historians concerned about cultural bias. 

According to the author of this article, this fraudulent book is still a “staple in history classes across America”

“In 1993, a year after Haley’s death, writer Philip Nobile did his best to expose what he calls “one of the great literary hoaxes of modern times.” In February of that year, he published Uncovering Roots in the influential alternative publication, The Village Voice. The article brought to a larger public the story of the Courlander suit and the Mills’s genealogy work.  Nobile also revealed that Haley’s editor at Playboy magazine, the very white and Jewish Murray Fisher, did much of the book’s writing.”

Nobile blames Roots’s seeming immunity on his progressive colleagues. “They were all too scared, or dishonest,” he writes, “to admit to the public that the most famous black writer had lied about his ancestry.”




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