Stan Kutler has a stalker.

13 02 2009

Via the AHA blog, here’s Robert Schneider, the editor of the American Historical Review:

Before I drafted my own cover letter, of course, I read Peter Klingman’s piece. Appended was a letter in which he noted its “shocking and controversial” contents, adding the claim that Stanley Kutler “egregiously violated the profession’s position on the integrity of the historical record by deliberately altering evidence.” Peter Klingman’s piece itself was true to this introduction: it is filled with ad hominem remarks and charges, and concludes with a ringing J’accuse-like denunciation, using the AHA’s Statement on Standards of Professional Conduct as a platform. While the piece includes long citations from the tapes and arguments about Kutler’s editing that may or may not be true, it is virtually littered with charges impugning his honesty, integrity and motives. I will refrain from quoting from the article, as it is copyrighted by Peter Klingman, but words like “forgery,” “fraud,” “distortion,” “fabricate,” “reprehensible,” “counterfeit,” “invent,” “alter,” “dishonest,” and the like crop up with disturbing regularity. Whatever this is—and whatever value and validity his case may have—it is not the stuff of scholarship.


Like I wrote before, attack the history, not the historian. But even if Peter Klingman had followed this advice, shouldn’t he have shot lower than the American Historical Review if he really wanted to get his paper published (as opposed to getting a summary of his charges in the New York Times)?

And come to think of it, I think the Times owes Stan an apology. My cat could submit a paper to the American Historical Review, but that doesn’t mean her judgment is worth anything.




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