Left Eye on Books

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Jonathan Nitzan and Shimshon Bichler, authors of The Global Political Economy of Israel, have accused Retort of plagiarism, both in their London Review of Books article, "No Blood for Oil?" and in their book, Afflicted Powers. I've read through "The Scientist and the Church", and, indeed, there are definitely some places where Retort seems to have slid over the line, incorporating their data and theoretical formulations without due credit, although in other places there appears to be the phenomenon where if you read a work too closely you sometimes unconsciously incorporate its phraseology. Some of their derision of Retort seems like it is based more on theoretical differences than anger at thievery. And their discussion of Marxism and Postmodernism is a little daft. Retort should reply somewhere. Reviews of Afflicted Powers and The Global Political Economy of Israel on Amazon reiterate these charges--probably more people see those than the essays published about Afflicted Powers in New Left Review.


  • i am immensely thankful someone posted those links to Nitzan/Bichler on amazon; otherwise that whole issue would have gone unnoticed by me. Ridiculous that the NLR doesn't even mention this. The problem is this: how is that cultural theorists can simply propose 'economic' facts based on secondary readings of economists or even marxists without anyone checking their competence in that area. Clearly, in most cases it's just a bunch of metaphors. Society of the spectacle...combined with economic statistics.....come on!! [btw i would describe myself as a left-cultural theorist; the perplexing thing is the lack of rationality in our circles: remember SOKAL?]

    By Blogger Arnth van Tuinen, at 3:03 PM  

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