Turns out another author has been caught lying. While I’m sure authors take a lot of liberties when writing fiction, it’s a different thing entirely, when writing non-fiction. The facts must be true, sources must be checked and content must be authentic. In this case, author Jonah Lehrer had trouble on two different matters.
Booksellers have pulled his book, IMAGINE : HOW CREATIVITY WORKS, from shelves and even the big sellers like Amazon have done recalls. Turns out that Lehrer used fake Bob Dylan quotes in the book, and it was only because a journalist and authority on Bob Dylan, Michael C. Moynihan, realized something was up after reading the book that Lehrer found himself in hot water. Moynihan tried checking the sources listed and couldn’t verify the quotes, only to be told that Lehrer had been given access to an unreleased interview with Dylan by his manager. When pressed, he admitted to lying and piecing together some of the quotes, which in turn led to his resignation from his position at The New Yorker magazine. Similarly, he admitted to recycling some of his own articles, written and published at previous posts (such as the Wall Street Journal), for The New Yorker. Guess he didn’t realize the work belonged to his previous employers?
It’s one thing to be creative, but it seems that Lehrer took the idea a little too far and has now damaged his credibility and future prospects. Sometimes, I guess it is all about the money.