How is that for a mixed pair? And what’s the connection?
Ward Churchill has been suing the University of Colorado, claiming that the academic misconduct for which he was fired was a dishonest pretext, and the real reason was to get rid of someone whose political views made the university’s top brass uncomfortable. The central criticism made of Churchill is that he ghost-wrote articles for other academics and then cited them/himself in his own work. The university said such practice is unconscionable, but Churchill says it’s done all the time.
I don’t know about all the time, but I do know about one very significant time. One of classics of business history, My Years at General Motors, supposedly written by long-time CEO Alfred Sloan, was actually ghost-written by journalist John McDonald. McDonald’s research assistant was Alfred Chandler, then a young (but very well-connected) business historian. Chandler, of course, knew all about the ghosting process, and as the team member with serious academic expertise, he probably had a major impact on the final product.
Chandler went on to write under his own name, becoming the pre-eminent scholar in his field, very well worth reading by anyone who cares about the role large productive organizations in our moment in history. Beginning with Strategy and Structure (1962), Chandler made GM one of his key case studies, drawing on the (unmentionable) research he had done for the Sloan book. Interestingly, his first book was published even before Sloan’s, suggesting that his theoretical work may have influenced the content of the published “evidence” for it, in the form of the Sloan memoir. In any case, Chandler continued to cite “Sloan” in several more pathbreaking works, with never a hint that there was something circular about this.
It’s a good thing for his career that Chandler stayed away from smallpox blankets and “little Eichmann’s”.