Friday, July 14, 2017

Duke University Historian Nancy MacLean Lashes Out at Critics of Her Book, Democracy in Chains

I blogged about the book a couple of weeks ago, when I noticed it was catching quite a buzz, "Nancy MacLean, Democracy in Chains." Now Professor MacLean's catching a lot of flak for her seriously shoddy scholarship.

Instapundit's been on the case for a while now. See, "NANCY MACLEAN’S DEMOCRACY IN CHAINS: Yet another devastating critique," and "IF YOU CAN’T CRITICIZE LIBERTARIANS WITHOUT LYING ABOUT THEM, MAYBE YOU CAN’T CRITICIZE THEM AT ALL: Some dubious claims in Nancy MacLean’s ‘Democracy in Chains,’ continued." (Check Glenn's search for "Nancy MacLean" for even more hits.)

And here's Inside Higher Ed from a couple of days ago, "Stealth Attack on Liberal Scholar?" She's not "liberal," of course. She'a radical leftist.

And a little blog literature review of the debate, at Cafe Hayek, "Nancy MacLean Unraveled."

Finally, even leftists have taken issue with MacLean. See Henry Farrell and Steven Teles, at Vox, "Even the intellectual left is drawn to conspiracy theories about the right. Resist them" (safe link):
A deep, historical study of public choice would be welcome, and [James] Buchanan’s role in the development of the thought and organizational infrastructure of the right has generally been overlooked. Unfortunately, the book is an example of precisely the kind of work on the right that we do not need, and the intellectuals of the left who have praised it are doing their side no favors...

I'm sure there'll be more outrage surrounding this story, so expect updates.