31st July 2012: Jonah Lehrer’s Resignation

Imagine author Jonah Lehrer has resigned from The New Yorker  over fabricated Bob Dylan quotes:

 

The discovery of the fabricated quotes came only weeks after Lehrer apologized last month for recycling some of his previous work—sometimes nearly verbatim—in his other work, including articles and blog posts.

 

Lehrer’s publisher has already pulled Imagine‘s print edition from Amazon.com.

 

This is a problem of writing Malcolm Gladwell-style populist books: the ‘rush to publish’ and to get on the consulting and seminar circuit can derail research and fact-checking processes (and, despite positive reviews). This is one reason why I prefer authors like Steve Coll and William D. Cohan who each have a strong research process. A recent example is David Crist’s book The Twilight War on the United States-Iran relationship: Crist did over 300 interviews for the book. Interestingly, Lehrer originally wanted to become a scientist.