Author learns her book is wrong – two weeks before publication! #article #bookblog #nonfiction

Here’s an Actual Nightmare: Naomi Wolf Learning On-Air That Her Book Is Wrong

Please read the article (link above – takes about 3 minutes). I am actually very curious about your thoughts on this.

  1. Was this just poor research?
  2. Did the author allow her agenda to affect how she interpreted information?
  3. The publisher stated “Despite this unfortunate error we believe the overall thesis of the book Outrages still holds.” Do you agree with this?
  4. If a significant portion of any non-fiction book is based on incorrect information, should it still be published? If it has already been published, should the book be recalled in some way? FYI – The book has already been released in the U.K. and is scheduled to be released in the U.S. on June 18, 2019.
  5. What should be done in cases like this when false information is provided to the public as fact? The author has indicated she will look into her research and make necessary corrections. Is that enough?

These are some of the questions that popped into my head when I read the article. I’m curious was others think. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the article or any of he questions I posed. I may not respond to every comment – I anticipate that this one might generate a lot of dialogue.

 

18 thoughts on “Author learns her book is wrong – two weeks before publication! #article #bookblog #nonfiction

  1. That’s terrible. I think if a book has wrong information, especially non-fiction books, it should be recalled/shouldn’t be published. She’s embarrassing herself by putting out work that is poorly researched. If this wasn’t publicized, people who have no knowledge about the subject matter might overlook it but people who do will definitely know it’s wrong. Also, if someone’s trying to educate people, it is their responsibility to educate us right.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! That’s a pretty big error as it’s part of her hypothesis. And, she used these supposed deaths as examples. The US distribution needs to be delayed at a minimum.

    It’s puzzling to me that the term “death recorded” wasn’t researched. We know enough now about archaic terms not necessarily having intuitive definitions. That lack of research, for me, calls the entire book into question.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I can certainly understand the author’s misunderstanding of the phrase “death recorded,” but this is such a critical mistake! I don’t think she did it on purpose, but I do think it fit well into her agenda. Certainly, the UK books need to be recalled and the U.S. book publication should be stopped. The author needs to rewrite this book to reflect the truth or give up her project.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It seems quite unbelievable that this has happened. I’d imagine the research was agenda-based likely on a premise that she thought was shocking so ran with it without stopping to fact check. Really interesting though still seems so bizarre that it was able to get this far without being questioned – and stopped!

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  5. Ouch. Hard to believe that she didn’t see this but it happens. And it sounds like she’s handling it very well. Could be very well the subject of the next book❤️

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  6. It looks like it was an embarrassingly poor job of research. Perhaps even a case of having a conclusion and looking for confirmatory evidence. If the author and publisher have any ounce of integrity I would hope that they’d recall the book and rerelease it. I don’t know how possible it is.

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  7. This goes way beyond making a simple mistake. Not only did she assume she understood the term; she took it further by not verifying that these people were, in fact, executed. Since I haven’t read it, I can only guess at her core theme but I think it has something to do with the criminal treatment of those who were considered “aberrant” and so the entire book is based on wrong information. It should be recalled in the UK and not published here.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I suspect this is a case of not knowing what you don’t know (unknown unknowns as they say in business). She saw the term, assumed there was no need to research it — after all, it sounds intuitively obvious — and jumped on unwittingly.
    I’ve seen sloppier errors, like a book that couldn’t even get the seven deadly sins right.

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  9. Wow.

    To answer your questions:
    1. Yes!
    2. It seems so.
    3. Hard to know without reading the book.
    4. It should be recalled, revised and republished. If I had written it, this is what I would want to do.
    5. That’s a difficult one. After all, false information is presented to the public all the time in many forms. In this case, I think correcting the mistakes would be enough, as I don’t think Wolf was trying to mislead anybody. She was just sloppy and lazy in her research. Speaking to just one expert would have prevented this whole thing.

    A cautionary tale for all writers of Non-fiction.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Eeeek! What an interesting and horrifying article. While I do find it to be awful that she discovered it on-air (which is kinda indecent) this book should be recalled. This is not a book about theory. She not only didn’t research the term but claims the opposite of the historical legal documents. If she didn’t even research her basic premise then it makes ALL of the research suspect. Maybe she should stick to fiction.
    x The Captain

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  11. The book should not be released in the US as it holds incorrect information. It’s unbelievable that it made it THAT far without anyone realizing that what she believed/researched to be true, wasn’t. This is a great learning experience for those who write research articles/information/non-fiction on how IMPORTANT it is to verify what you have found. Hopefully this was a horribly sloppy error on her part and not some scheme to grab attention to herself. It’s embarrassing to say the least!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. The author obviously didn’t do enough research and her interpretation has been proven to be wrong. She should have had contact with the proper academics to check her interpretation just checking facts on the internet isn’t the right way to go about research.
    If the book was a piece of fiction I’d let it go as it’s the authors interpretation but if it’s a non fiction book it should be pulled until it’s been corrected.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. So happy to have just found your blog. Love your tag line – no one ever reads the same book – I have said this myself so many times, so very true! Look forward to catching up with and keeping up with you’re reviews!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. That really is like your worst nightmare. In my opinion the book should be pulled immediately. You can’t keep selling a book you KNOW contains incorrect information.

    If she was an indie author, working a full time job I could forgive this mistake. However she really should have researched what an unfamiliar term meant, rather than making an assumption, not when so much of her book hinged on this. She clearly didn’t adequately/properly research what happened to the people she had referenced in the book. Not if the interviewer could point out one man hadn’t been executed but had been released.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Thanks! I appreciate that very much. I’ve taken a little break from posting the last couple of days (I posted a LOT of reviews in May!) but I’ll start up again in a day or so. 🤗

    Liked by 2 people

  16. I agree with what’s been said, very sloppy and the UK books should be withdrawn and the US release date postponed until the the errors have been corrected.

    Liked by 1 person

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