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Washington Post apologizes to Fareed Zakaria for ‘‘wrong’ second plagiarization charge

Last Updated: Thursday, August 16, 2012 - 12:51

Washington: The Washington Post has apologized for wrongly stating that columnist and TV host Fareed Zakaria in his 2008 book “The Post-American World,” failed to cite the source of a quotation taken from another book.

According to the Washington Post, in fact, Zakaria did credit the other work by Clyde V. Prestowitz. Endnotes crediting Prestowitz were contained in hardcover and paperback editions of Zakaria’s book, the report said.

The Washington Post said that it should have examined copies of the books and should not have published the article, and apologized for the same. The Post had accused Zakaria, who had acknowledged plagiarizing parts of a magazine article last week, for also having published without attribution a passage from a 2005 book.

The earlier report had said that Zakaria’s 2008 book, “The Post-American World,” contains a quote from former Intel Corp. chief executive Andy Grove about the nation’s economic power. “America is in danger of following Europe down the tubes, and the worst part is that nobody knows it,” Grove said in Zakaria’s book, adding: “They’re all in denial, patting themselves on the back as the Titanic heads straight for the iceberg full speed ahead.”
According to the earlier Washington Post report, the first edition of Zakaria’s book, which became a bestseller, makes no mention of the comment’s source, nor does a paperback version of “Post-American World” was published in 2009. In fact, Grove’s comment was published three years earlier in “Three Billion New Capitalists: The Great Shift of Power to the East,” by former Commerce Department official Clyde V. Prestowitz, the earlier report said.

In an interview, Prestowitz said that Grove made the comment in an interview with him that was conducted while Prestowitz was researching for his book, the report had added. According to the earlier report, Prestowitz, who heads the Economic Strategy Institute, a Washington think tank, said he contacted Zakaria about the Grove quote when “Post-American World” was published four years ago, but received no response. Prestowitz said he also mentioned the lack of attribution to his editor and agent, but he does not know if they raised the issue with Zakaria or his publisher, the earlier report said.

Zakaria finally acknowledged Prestowitz in the footnotes of “The Post-American World 2.0,” an updated and expanded version of his original book that was published last year, the report added.

According to the previous report, Zakaria defended the practice of not attributing quotes in a popular book. "As I write explicitly [in the book], this is not an academic work where everything has to be acknowledged and footnoted," he said. The book contains "hundreds" of comments and quotes that aren`t attributed because doing so, in context, would "interrupt the flow for the reader," he added.


First Published: Thursday, August 16, 2012 - 12:50

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