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Keir Graff and editors from Booklist's adult and youth departments write candidly about books, book reviewing, and the publishing industry

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Tuesday, February 5, 2008 3:07 pm
The Name Was Plagiarized, Anyway
Posted by: Keir Graff

A great detective story, starring journalist and author Robert Fisk. From The Independent (“The curious case of the forged biography,” by Robert Fisk):

Needless to say, I noticed one or two problems with this book. It took a very lenient view of the brutality of Saddam, it didn’t seem to care much about the gassed civilians of Halabja – and it was full of the kind of purple passages which I loathe. “After the American rejection of the Iraqi weapons report to the UN,” ‘Robert Fisk’ wrote, “the beating of war drums turned into a cacophony…”

Dare I suggest to readers that this kind of cliche doesn’t sound like Robert Fisk? The only war drums I could hear were those of my own astonishment. For I never wrote this book. It wasn’t plagiarism – a common practice in Cairo, which is why I ensure that all my real books are legally published in Arabic in Lebanon. No, this wasn’t plagiarism. This was forgery.


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