Plagiarism charged to author of Bestseller on Iraq War

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The Canadian publisher of an acclaimed bestseller on the U.S. invasion of Iraq has halted shipments of the book after an Atlanta newspaper said its text contains numerous passages that should have been attributed to one of its writers.

Toronto author and Harper's magazine contributor Paul William Roberts has admitted that his 2004 book, A War Against Truth: An Intimate Account of the Invasion of Iraq, contains "elements [that] . . . closely resemble or are indistinguishable from passages" in an article in the Sept. 29, 2002, Atlanta Journal-Constitution by deputy editorial-page editor Jay Bookman.

In a Jan. 19 letter of apology to a lawyer for the newspaper, Mr. Roberts called his failure to acknowledge the use of Mr. Bookman's material in five of his book's 350-plus pages "a journalistic travesty" and "an egregious lapse of professional conduct," but he said the failure was inadvertent, more the result of "the dangers of sloppiness" than an act of malice or bald plagiarism.

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