Three New Books (Doris Kearns Goodwin)





Mr. Nobile is the author of Intellectual Skywriting: Literary Politics and the New York Review of Books and editor of Judgement at the Smithsonian. He is a contributing editor at HNN.

Doris Kearns Goodwin has dramatically revised her story of plagiarism. The celebrity historian was quoted in the New York Times on February 23 that her 1987 bestseller, The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys, contained far more copying than previously reported.

Last month, The Weekly Standard revealed that Goodwin had lifted some forty passages from Kathleen Kennedy: Her Life and Times by Lynne McTaggart and lesser amounts from Rose Kennedy's Times to Remember and Hank Searls's The Lost Prince. Goodwin admitted the charge, but attributed the copying to sloppy methods.

Although Goodwin still insists that her appropriations were accidental, she told the Times's literary correspondent David Kirkpatrick that The Fitzgerald and the Kennedys was filled with more borrowed material from several more books, which she refused to specify.

According to an ongoing HNN investigation, those undisclosed books include:

  • Kenneth O'Donnell and David Powers, "Johnny, We Hardly Knew Ye" (1972);
  • William Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (1959);
  • Peter Collier and David Horowitz, The Kennedys: An American Drama (1974).

Parallel Passages

Johnny, We Hardly Knew Ye (pp. 53-54)

When Jack was leaving, he mentioned casually that he was planning to attend a meeting of a group of Gold Star Mothers two days later at the American Legion Hall in Charleston. He asked if Dave would go to the meeting with him. ... He spoke for ten minutes on the sacrifices of war and the need to keep the world at peace. Then he paused, looked at the women and said hesitatingly,"I think I know how you women feel because my mother is a gold star mother, too." ... When Jack finally managed to make his way out of the hall, he turned to Dave and said to him,"How do you think I did?"

The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys (pp. 711-722)

When Jack was leaving he casually told Dave that he was planning to attend a meeting of the Gold Star Mothers two days later in Charleston. Would Dave go with him? ... Jack's talk at the diner two nights later centered on the sacrifices of war and the need to keep the world at peace. ... As he ended his speech, Jack paused, looked at the women and then said hesitatingly,"I think I know how you women feel because my mother is a Gold Star Mother, too." ...When Jack finally made his way out of the hall he turned to Dave and asked him how he thought the speech had gone.

The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (p. 383)

And so at noon on September 19 the British and French ministers in Prague jointly presented the Anglo-French proposals to the Czech government. They were rejected the next day in a dignified note which explained--prophetically--that to accept them would put Czechoslovakia"sooner or later under the complete domination of Germany."

The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys (p. 554)

The following day the Anglo-French proposals were presented to the Czech government, which immediately rejected them with a dignified and prophetic note saying that to accept them would put Czechoslovakia"sooner or later under the complete domination of Germany."

The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (p. 397)

Shouting and shrieking in the worst paroxysm I had ever seen him in, he ... declared ... that, in any case, he would have the Sudetenland by October 1.

The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys (p. 556)

Shouting and shrieking in the worst state of excitement correspondent Shirer had ever seen him in, he stated that he would have his Sudetenland by October 1.

The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (p. 411)

Jan Masaryk, the Czech minister, the son of the founding father of the Czechoslovak Republic, looked on from the diplomatic gallery, unable to believe his eyes.

The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys (p. 561)

... and from his seat in the diplomatic gallery Jan Masaryk, the Czech minister, the son of the founding father of the Czechoslovak republic, ... could scarcely believe what he was seeing.

The Kennedys: An American Drama (p.101)

At an embassy evening to which Kick had invited Billy Hartington and other young Englishmen who were talking eagerly about getting into uniform, he showed a film about World War I. Throughout the showing, the Ambassador muttered a sarcastic running commentary, especially during a scene that showed English Tommies being slaughtered in the trenches:"See that? That's what you'll look like if you go to war with Germany." Kick sat red-faced, and afterward apologized to Billy:"You mustn't pay attention to him. He just doesn't understand the English as I do."

The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys (p. 585)

One evening during this time, while Joe Kennedy was showing a film about the Great War, Billy Hartington and several other young Englishmen who were guests of Kathleen talked almost eagerly about getting into battle. In reaction, the Ambassador kept up a running antiwar commentary throughout the film and became especially heated during a scene showing English being slaughtered in the trenches."See that?" he said."That's what you'll look like if you go to war with Germany." ... In the awkward silence that followed the Ambassador's outburst, Kathleen sat red-faced. Afterward she apologized to Billy."You mustn't pay attention to him. He just doesn't understand the English as I do."

The Kennedys: An American Drama (p.170)

... Jack was lounging on a couch listening to a recording of the musical comedy Finian's Rainbow. ... When another call came a few minutes later saying that Kathleen's body had been definitely identified,"How Are Things in Glockamora" was playing. He looked at Sutton and said,"That Ellen Langin sure has a sweet voice," and then he turned his head and began to cry."

The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys (p. 739)

... Jack was lying on a couch listening to a recording of the musical comedy Finian's Rainbow. ... When the call came a short time later saying that Kathleen's body had definitely been identified,"How Are Things in Glocca Morra" was playing. Ellen Langin had a sweet voice, he said to Billy Sutton. Then he turned his head and began to cry.



comments powered by Disqus

More Comments:


Lee D Mc Govern - 8/7/2002

This is the first time I signed on to your web site and picked in
formation about historians. I had hoped to read some information
on what historians are writing about and all I find here is more
information about kearns and ambrose copying a few passages from
some other books. Please lets move on to what is really important, in short, get a life and stop beating on good authors heads.

Subscribe to our mailing list