Saturday, March 1, 2014

Exhibit C -- Repackaging of a Famous Textbook

Peace Be Still: A History of Modern Black America (Nebraska, 2014) is in significant ways simply a subset of the many editions of Hine, Hine, and Harrold's African American Odyssey  (Pearson/Prentice Hall, 5 editions).  Textbooks tend to be for the most part uncited, of course, and to describe similar events. But Peace Be Still in fact does cite  (Professor Whitaker assiduously cites to his own previous publications, for example), just not in a way that even hints at the extent of the book's dependence on African American Odyssey. And its overlap with African American Odyssey goes well beyond a shared need to discuss major events and people.  Professor Whitaker draws, sometimes for pages at a time, his analysis, statistics, primary source quotations, and organization from the earlier work, usually without any attribution at all.  He does not include in his bibliography the most recent editions that he stripmines. And even as Professor Whitaker declares his intention to focus innovatively on culture and the post-2000 era, he is  dependent  for those very subjects on Hine, Hine, and Harrold.  Dr. Darlene Clark Hine is included  in the acknowledgments as one person in long lists of scholars, and the other two authors of African American Odyssey, not at all.    On the shelves of the Cabinet, we can give you only the barest idea of the gloomy thrill reading these two books side by side provides.   Here are three examples with images provided strictly for educational purposes.  The rest, the old-fashioned way. 
1)Peace Be Still (pp. 272-276) precisely tracks Hine, Hine, and Harrold, 4th edition, through its discussion of the effect of the 1964 Act on second wave feminism, disagreements between black feminists and other feminists and black men, then to LGBT movements, finishing with the identical Coretta Scott King quotation.   Amazing!
Here is H, H, and H's discussion,  pp 689-91 (4th edition):
Here is Professor Whitaker's discussion:

2) Hine, Hine, and Harrold illuminate the effect of the Cold War on African-American leaders and public intellectuals, by contrasting Ralph Bunche and WEB Dubois:
 Whitaker chooses to do precisely the same (and chooses, in his footnotes, not to acknowledge Hine, Hine, and Harrold, but rather to cite straight to their primary sources): 

3)This next example includes a few more changes in sentence order and other cosmetic issues, but stick with it.  As you keep reading, the texts always converge, and you get a sense -- albeit an incomplete one -- of the brazen nature and grand scale of Professor Whitaker's borrowing.    Peace Be Still  tracks Hine, Hine, and Harrold's discussion  of the rise of black political power, giving the same examples and statistics, moves to a nearly identical discussion of the 1972 convention in Gary, Indiana, then to media response to that convention, then to the rise of black mayors, then to the 1970's recession, with identical statistics given, then on to the Carter presidency appointments, all with no citation, and all with a degree of lifting that far outstrips the examples of plagiarism we give our students as we sternly admonish them to honor the rules of scholarship. 
Here is H, H, and H's discussion, pp 565-569 (2d edition):
Here is Professor Whitaker's discussion:

And, because one stocker of the Cabinet's shelves had a different edition, here's some comparisons from the 5th edition:
1) H, H, and H p. 610 (beginning last paragraph, “About this time, James Meredith”) to 611, end of section – or continue to “The National Council of Churches,” which is also taken; compare to Whitaker, p. 106 to 107 
2) H, H, and H p. 651 (Beginning at “Identity issues”) to end of subheading; compare to Whitaker, p. 245 (Beginning at “Identity issues”) – 246
3) H, H, and H p. 686 ( “Bill Clinton called Bush v Gore...”) compare to Whitaker, p. 211  (“Clinton called it...”)
4) H, H, and H, p. 674  (“Reagan and Bush often cloaked...”); compare to Whitaker, p. 172  (“Reagan and Bush tried to conceal...”) – 175
5) H, H, and H, p. 660 (beginning at “Until 1984 most white Americans”) – 661 (through “Millennial Marches” section); compare to Whitaker, p. 267 (beginning at “Farrakhan first became nationally known in 1984”) – 270.

There are many more, but we have day jobs.  For the moment. 

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