November 1, 2002

BELLESILES UPDATE: Kimberly Strassel has a piece in the Wall Street Journal, calling it a conditional victory for scholarly integrity. That seems about right.

UPDATE: And here is a comment on History News Network debunking Jon Wiener’s Nation account of “unusually large men” shadowing Bellesiles.

For what it’s worth, when I spoke at the Stanford program on the Second Amendment where Bellesiles was the keynoter, there were people passing out leaflets, too. They were, as I recall, distinctly non-threatening.

ANOTHER UPDATE: And here’s a story from the National Post that I found via HNN’s index of media coverage. I hadn’t noticed this page until just now. Here’s an excerpt from the Post story:

From the start, Bellesiles’ assertions were highly implausible. No guns in 18th-century America? Nobody who has looked at an 18th-century painting or read an 18th-century book could believe it. How could such an assertion get past a publisher or the Bancroft prize-givers? We know the answer. They believed it because they wanted to believe. The ideological bias of the modern university can blind academics to the truth as utterly as ever did the theological biases of the past. They could not have been so easily lead astray had they not first shut their eyes.

True enough.

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