I know that the title of this post is plagiarized, but I figure if I could plagiarize from anyone, Doris Kerns Goodwin would be down with it. Which is what leads to this post, DKG recently spoke at my place of employment and the reviews and reaction to her presentation have been positively glowing. Before I start sounding like a bitter, non-famous historian, I must say I don’t begrudge her success, fame or celebrity. To borrow a tired, old phrase, “you go girl.” What is galling, however, is the absolute dismissal of any of her past actions, as if nothing has happened. (My friend AJD covered this much better than I can, so look here for a great discussion of her crimes.) If I was accused, let alone be found guilty of what she did on my dissertation, I would be finished, and rightfully so. Yet because Goodwin had the backing of all her pals at Harvard and what passes as the US intelligentsia, she ultimately was given a free pass. Actually better, her career has arguably improved since the plagiarism incident. The fawning over her and her presentation got so bad that my choice came down to looking like a party-pooping snob or just bitching to my blog about how only lip service is paid to the ideals of honesty and academic merit.