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HNN has been told that that the independent panel appointed by Emory University to investigate Michael Bellesiles's Arming America has finished its report and submitted it.

The university told HNN that it will not have a comment"until the end of the summer," sticking by the schedule announced in the spring.

Mr. Bellesiles has declined to comment.

The names of the panel members are secret. The university has indicated that it may never reveal their names even after the report is made public.

Mr. Bellesiles has been teaching in the Emory at Oxford program this summer. His course: History 341, The American Revolution from the British Perspective. 4 hours. This is the description offered on the university website:

Literature, History, Political Science, Film Studies, Theatre Studies Oxford, England
July 2 - August 10, 2002
The British Studies Program is held at University College, one of the oldest and most beautiful colleges in Oxford. Students will live, dine and study in an atmosphere incomparably rich in cultural heritage and intellectual accomplishment. They may use all college facilities, including the library, beer and billiards cellar, croquet, lawn tennis and squash courts. There are ordinarily no classes on Friday so that students will have ample time for weekend travel, or for enjoyment of Oxford's many riches. This year the curriculum consists of a wide variety of offerings in British studies, including participation by British faculty and courses in Shakespeare, literature, history, political science, film studies and theatre studies.

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John Horst - 8/16/2002

I don't know, but it certainly sounds like fun.

John Anderson - 7/31/2002

In re Belleisles, what is the current status of Rigoberta Menchu, whose Nobel Prize was for a non-fiction autobiography later shown to be almost entirely fictive? - "Professors ... are outraged — not with Menchu for making things up, but with anthropologist David Stoll for exposing her fraud." - "Some of this may be the defensiveness of those in shock. But still it raises the question of how universities, supposedly dedicated to truth and critical thinking, can continue to teach a book that is full of falsehoods. For now, Rigoberta’s academic fan club resorts to what may be termed the Tawana Brawley defense, named after the New York teenager who faked a racially motivated rape. The lawyers and civil rights activists who defended Brawley said it didn’t matter that she had concocted her tale, because a racist society causes such desperation. As legal scholar Patricia Williams put it, 'No matter who did it to her, and even if she did it to herself, Tawana Brawley has been the victim of some unspeakable violation.'” Dinesh D’Souza


Does anyone outside of a lunatic asylum really think they added the 2nd amendment to the Constitution in order to provide weapons for the military? - Anon

Tom Spencer - 7/29/2002

In recent years many old and prestigeous publishing houses have been swallowed by conglomerates. Alfred Knopf is part of the Random House group which is owned by??? I fear that in today's corporate culture the emphasis is more on the bottom line than accuracy, and controversy sells. What might not have passed a close inspection a few years ago slides into print today with little of the attention to accuracy it might have received in past years. If it's a slick presentation that appeals to an editor, it goes through with little review, and all the corporate PR machinery goes to work to promote it.
Perhaps part of the question we should be asking is how seriously should we take Knopf as a publisher now. Arthur Anderson was once held up as the epitome of accounting standards, and look at where it has gone. Times change and corporate cultures change.

T.R.Coffman - 7/25/2002

Where was the publisher when the author submitted his rough draft? Doesn't the editor have a responsibility to check the information that the author presents as facts? Why the secrecey of the panel? Could it be that there is a conflict of interest between the panel and the author?

Robert Wolff - 7/24/2002

And the point of posting the British Studies description would be . . . . ???