I just read this New Yorker story thanks to my e-friend and colleague, Kevin Levin. The gist is this: Stephen Ambrose lied, distorted, and embellished his level of personal contact with President Dwight D. Eisenhower in order to make a name for himself. Here are the lies:
(1) Eisenhower didn’t initiate contact with Ambrose, contrary to later stories by Ambrose.
(2) They met 3 times totaling 5 hours, not many times totaling hundreds of hours over 5 years.
(3) Ambrose was never alone with Eisenhower.
(4) Ambrose compounded his lies by distorting the nature and extent of the interviews in subsequent books, polluting the historiography of a generation.
Amazing. But what I find really interesting is that someone from the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum didn’t expose this years ago. I mean, Ambrose has been on the list of suspect historians now for about 15-20 years.
I wonder what the most famous fraud or lie is in terms of U.S. intellectual historiography? – TL