Friday, August 10, 2012

The Lehrer Lies Continue

I was hoping to find something humorous to share with you all on this Friday, just two days after National Book Lovers Day. But instead, an article about author Jonah Lehrer--author of How We Decide, which I read and loved earlier this year--caught my eye.

Just two weeks ago, Lehrer resigned from his position at the New Yorker after being accused of incorrectly quoting Bob Dylan in his book Imagine: How Creativity Works. He was caught red-handed:
In a statement released through his publisher, Mr. Lehrer apologized.

“The lies are over now,” he said. “I understand the gravity of my position. I want to apologize to everyone I have let down, especially my editors and readers.”

He added, “I will do my best to correct the record and ensure that my misquotations and mistakes are fixed. I have resigned my position as staff writer at The New Yorker.” (Bosman, Mediadecoder)

Just a month before that incident, Lehrer fessed up to reusing material from his own previously published articles to populate his "new" New Yorker articles.

And now, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, the young writer's publisher, is reviewing all of his books for plagiarism and fabricated quotations/interview, according to

All three of Jonah Lehrer’s bestselling books are under review by publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, according to Lori Glazer, the company’s vice president and executive director of publicity. The publisher pulled copies of “Imagine” and halted e-book sales last week, after journalist Michael Moynihan revealed that Lehrer had made up and mangled some Bob Dylan quotations.

Moynihan went on to look at “How We Decide,” published in 2009, to see if there were suspicious passages in it, too. With “no more than a few hours of checking and a few emails [to] people mentioned by Lehrer … I found fake interviews, quotes that can’t be located, and plagiarism,” he wrote Friday. One example: Lehrer claimed to have interviewed the pilot of a commercial airliner that crashed in 1989, but the quotation is remarkably similar to a speech the pilot gave in 1991.

“All of Jonah’s books are under review,” Glazer told me.

The publisher has told booksellers to send copies of “Imagine” back for a refund. Consumers can get refunds, too.

See the original post HERE

I've got to admit, I'm more disappointed about learning of Lehrer's dishonesty than I expected, probably because I was so enthralled with How We Decide. For once I had found a nonfiction book and author who I enjoyed and found intriguing. And it turns out he's a fraud.


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