Phillip W. Magness

U.S. Economic & Political History

Is a 2017 National Book Award finalist built upon a simple typo?

| October 17, 2017

My other posts on the National Book Award-nominated¬†Democracy in Chains have focused upon severe problems with its author’s historical account, including the misuse and misrepresentation of archival evidence. Today I want to look at another aspect of the book – its own origin story, as told by author Nancy MacLean. The book’s publicist has made […]

A Tale of Two Newspapers

| September 25, 2017

Virginius Dabney, editor of the Richmond Times-Dispatch   The ongoing controversy over¬†Democracy in Chains by Nancy MacLean has provided no shortage of conversation material this summer, including an unintentional commentary on the degraded state of academic standards in the history profession. When I first read this book at the beginning of the summer, I was […]