If you publish a controversial scholarly book these days you’d better plan on someone hosting a web site devoted to tearing your book to shreds:
- The ‘1421’ myth exposed. Rips large gaping holes in Menzies’ book (previously discussed on Savage Minds).
- This site was the result of an undergraduate seminar at UC San Diego (UCSD) in which students read Mao: The Unknown Story and compared the sources with those from other books and articles on modern Chinese history – with rather devastating results. (What a great teaching project!)
- Here is a page devoted to criticizing the statistical methods used in The Bell Curve. [I am completely unqualified to evaluate the math on this site, but it seemed worth including in the list.]
Anyone know of any other web sites devoted to debunking academic books? (Academic books only please.) It seems publishers are less and less interested in being editors or fact checkers, so such web sites will likely play an increasingly important role in keeping authors honest – or exposing sloppy scholarship. It also means that even careful scholars will likely have to have a web page defending themselves from such attacks.