Mlk Dissertation

Martin Luther King committed plagiarism -- stealing material from other people and claiming it as his own. Pappas recounts his effort in publicizing the story in the May issue of Chronicles magazine, where he serves as managing editor.

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When confronted with irrefutable proof of plagiarism, what did many notable scholars do?

In the words of Jacob Neusner, Distinguished Research Professor of Religious Studies at the University of South Florida: They lied, they told half-truths, they made up fables, they did everything they could but address facts; three enlightened individuals even threatened [Pappas's] life.

D dissertation had been copied from a previous work.

He estimates that 66 percent of King's dissertation was plagiarized.

Theodore Pappas has written a piece for Chronicles magazine that should be required reading for every journalism student and journalist.

It tells the story of how the media, including book publishers, tried to suppress the story of how famed civil rights leader Dr.As the son of one of the four Los Angeles-based FBI agents -- Ahern, Benjamin, Moorehead, and North -- who identified James Earl Ray as King's assassin, I was taught that everyone deserves the protection of the law. He regarded other men's words just as he regarded other men's wives: as ripe for the taking. It is discussed in detail by Theodore Pappas, who wrote a book about it: The Martin Luther King, Jr., Plagiarism Story (Rockford, Illinois: Rockford Institute, 1994). The large number of plagiarized sources in everything King wrote and preached, from the beginning of his career, is visible in volume 1 of his Papers (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992); the plagiarized originals appear in the footnotes. from Boston University, where he plagiarized his doctoral dissertation.Apparently it's all right to bad-mouth Jefferson; after all, he was a white European male. (Stealing from the Web is easy, but students can also buy essays on-line.) He writes: One notorious plagiarism case -- involving, sadly, Martin Luther King, Jr.But King, a black civil rights leader, has to be spared any criticism. -- illustrates that some professors not only ignore plagiarism but excuse it.On top of revelations about King's womanizing, the plagiarism allegations served to demonstrate that while King postured as a paragon of moral virtue, he was in reality a scoundrel.This is not something that a lot of people wanted to hear.Others tried to palliate the offense by saying it was the result of "carelessness" (despite the fact that King had taken a graduate course in thesis writing). Miller, an English professor at Arizona State University, notoriously argued that King merely had drawn on the oral traditions of the black church in which "voice merging" -- the blending of the words and ideas of those who spoke before -- is commonplace.A somewhat conflicted Professor Carson went further, describing King's "pattern of unacknowledged appropriation of words and ideas," which he does label "plagiarism," as a "legitimate utilization of political, philosophical, and literary texts" that allowed King "to express his ideas effectively using the words of others" via a "successful composition method." And Professor George Mc Lean praised King's plagiarized dissertation as "a contribution in scholarship for which his doctorate was richly deserved" (in Pappas "Life and Times" 43).As Theodore Pappas points out, to say that [King's] doctorate was "richly deserved" when 66 percent of his dissertation was plagiarized is "absurd and dishonest" (Ibid.).But "absurdity" and "dishonesty" now often trump adherence to the academic creed.

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