‘Did George McGovern Misremember His Past as a Bomber Pilot?’


The Wild Blue featured George McGovern’s unpublished wartime memoir, expanded by Ambrose to include stories of other veterans of the European air war. Unfortunately, the book was found to have embodied extensive plagiarism and sloppy scholarship.

This is not about historian Ambrose’s failures, however. Anyone interested in that tawdry business can find the details in two excellent books by professional historians: Scandals and Scoundrels by Ron Robin, and Past Imperfect by Peter Charles Hoffer, both published in 2004 (also, Historians in Trouble by Jon Wiener, 2005).

It is about Senator George McGovern’s failure of memory in recounting his wartime experiences, a not uncommon element of many memoirs of events long past.

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