- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 6, 2002

NEW YORK (AP) Historian Stephen Ambrose has been accused of plagiarizing sections of his new book about World War II bomber pilots, "The Wild Blue."
Fred Barnes, a columnist for "The Weekly Standard," argues in the Jan. 14 issue of the magazine that Mr. Ambrose took passages almost word-for-word from "The Wings of Morning," a book by historian Thomas Childers about the same topic.
Mr. Ambrose included footnotes that cite Mr. Childers' book as a source for the sections, but the footnotes do not acknowledge that he quotes directly from the book, Mr. Barnes said.
Mr. Childers told the New York Times for yesterday's editions that he had concluded that Mr. Ambrose borrowed from his book extensively and said he was "sort of disappointed."
The two books have several similar passages, according to Mr. Barnes.
For example, Mr. Childers wrote about ball-turret gunners: "It was the most physically uncomfortable, isolated, and terrifying position on the ship. The gunner climbed into the ball, pulled the hatch closed, and was then lowered into position."
A section in Mr. Ambrose's book, focusing on former Sen. George McGovern, reads: "The ball turret was, as McGovern said, the most physically uncomfortable, isolated, and terrifying position on the plane. The gunner climbed into the ball, pulled the hatch closed and was then lowered into position."
Mr. Ambrose, speaking through a relative, declined to comment to the Associated Press yesterday.
A spokesman for his book's publisher, the Simon & Schuster division of Viacom, told the Times that "all research garnered from previously published material is appropriately footnoted."
Mr. Ambrose, a professor emeritus at the University of New Orleans and one of the nation's most popular history writers, has published more than 25 books. One of his books, "Band of Brothers," was made into a television miniseries.


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