Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Morgenthau Plan Goes Down the Memory Hole

My book was recently purged from Wikipedia.  The Morgenthau Plan: Soviet Influence on American Postwar Planning has been chucked down the memory hole.  Of course there were legitimate reasons for its deletion.  I asked Wikipedia to explain and they kindly responded:

I've just removed the material referenced to the book The Morgenthau Plan: Soviet Influence on American Postwar Policy as it does not appear to be a reliable source. The book's publisher Alora Publishing looks like a publisher of WP:FRINGE-type works judging from what it chooses to highlight on its website, and I could not find any reviews of the book in reliable sources, and many of the references to it on the internet are to extremist websites. The author's website is also not typical of that of a neutral historian. Nick-D (talk) 22:41, 11 October 2014 (UTC)
Worldcat shows it owned by 1319 libraries, a very substantial number. This of course does not mean it is an authority, but it might appear to be of considerable interest. Google Scholar shows it has been cited 16 times, as follows: [6]. DGG  (David Goodman) ( talk ) 20:21, 14 July 2015 (UTC) (I wrote this is response to an OTRS query asking about the removal of the book).

According to Nick the book is not a reliable source.  But he seems to think it was published by Alora Publishing, a publisher of “fringe-type” works.  I tried to find Alora Publishing but was not successful.  I contacted my publisher and he thought that Nick’s comments may have been a joke.  Nick claims that he could not find any reviews of my book in reliable sources.  I guess Publishers’ Weekly and Choice magazine (by the American Library Association, for academic libraries) are not considered reliable.  Perhaps it was wrong of the BBC to contact me for an interview in Things We Forgot to Remember.  My blog is not and has never claimed to be the work of a neutral historian.  

Nick raises one troubling point about my book: “many of the references to it on the internet are to extremist websites.”  I do not have any control over who references my work. In my research I have run across a great deal of anti-Semitism.  This is unfortunate because it is a distraction and it is used to discredit anyone looking for the truth.  Many of the key people involved with the Morgenthau Plan were Jewish, however, one of its strongest critics, Victor Gollancz, was also a Jew.  I am not aware of any extremist claims in my book although its conclusions might be considered outrageous.  We are living in interesting times and some even think the Little Sisters of the Poor are extremists.

The bottom line is: Who is more credible?  Check the Algora Publishing website.  If you believe it is “fringe” you will agree with Nick.  If you check it out and wonder what Nick is talking about then you will know why Wikipedia has a well deserved bad reputation for veracity. I am confident that you will find Algora Publishing a reasonable company.  I can not speak for Alora.

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