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Tom Bissell is not a plagiarist 

The author of "Chasing the Sea," alerted my post of last week, has graciously defended himself against what I called one of the more troubling charges against him in the reviewer wars on amazon.com. Acknowledging that one attribution was accidentally dropped, and that Murray Feshbach's "Ecocide in the USSR" might have been cited more visibly in the text, he submits that this hardly makes him a plagiarist. I agree.

My e-conversation with Bissell went on at some length about the titling and marketing of the book, footnoting and scholarship, and why people have ANONYMOUSLY posted some incredibly bizarre accusations against his book. (Could the ever-more-vitriolic quality of political discourse be seeping into our cultural discussions?)

But I (and he, too, I think) would rather just be done with the issue. This blog will no longer discuss "Chasing the Sea." Bissell's only comment for publication was, "It's just sort of spooky to know that my name is out there attached to a charge of plagiarism," and so now let us declare it no longer is.

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