Eight years after his passing, historian Stephen Ambrose’s reputation is in trouble after allegations of lying have surfaced. Ambrose made his reputation based upon several books about Dwight D. Eisenhower, including various interviews with the President over the years.
In his first and biggest Ike book, “The Supreme Commander,” published in 1970, Ambrose listed nine interviews with the former president. But according to Richard Rayner of The New Yorker, that’s not true. The deputy director of the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum in Abilene, Kansas, Tim Rives, told Rayer that Ike saw Ambrose only three times, for a total of less than five hours, and that the two men were never alone together.
Ambrose wrote more books about Ike after “The Supreme Commander,” including a two-volume biography. As the books got longer, the footnotes got fuzzier – instead of specific dates, readers found footnotes reading simply “Interview DE.” But “as the citations grew more nebulous,” Rayner writes, “the range of subjects that the interviews allegedly covered grew wider: the Rosenberg case, Dien Bien Phu, Douglas MacArthur, J.F.K., quitting smoking, the influence of Eisenhower’s mother, Brown v. Board of Education.”
This is not the first time the high profile historian has been accused of lying. In fact, it was quite a common occurrence. [via]