Friday, February 09, 2007

What's Left? Errata

One of Nick's complaints against "liberals" and "the left" and "the liberal left" and so on is that we carp and criticise and moan and whinge and we never have anything constructive to offer. So it's time to offer positive assistance.

In order to help Nick Cohen and his publisher release an error-free second edition of What's Left?, I thought Aaronovitch Watch (Incorporating World of Decency) could usefully open an errata thread, to identify and where possible correct the mistakes that have -- inexplicably -- crept into the book.

I'll kick off; some of these will be familiar from what's gone before. Please add further errata in the comments; and please, simple errors and false factual claims only. (The man's entitled to his interpretations, however wayward, his opinions, however silly, and his arguments, however bad.)

[p.99] For "1996" read "1995".

[p.100] For "1999" read "1998".

[p.109] For "2001" read "2000".

[p.246] For "Information Research Bureau" read "Information Research Department".

[p.274] "Said couldn’t manage a word of condemnation of the ideology and the methods of the suicide bombers." False. [via]

[p.335] Incorrect source given in the note on p.382: the Index writer called Theo Van Gogh a "free speech fundamentalist" in this piece, not in the one Nick cites.

[pp.357-8] "A cryptic dedication..." This bit is complete horseshit, as Nick has already acknowledged. [via]

3 Comments:

Blogger StuartA said...

It's very minor, but Cohen's citation of Paradise and Power is for the wrong (2003) edition. The text he quotes only appears in the expanded 2004 edition. I suspect he looked up the details on amazon.co.uk, which has them wrong.

2/10/2007 02:28:00 PM  
Blogger StuartA said...

I would also say that Cohen's characterisation of the Guardian interview as "a piece on leftist denial of crimes against humanity" is, if not wrong, then deeply misleading. It was billed as an interview with Chomsky occasioned by the Prospect poll. It veered onto such topics as Chomsky's share portfolio and childhood, but it contained nothing on the Left in general.

Then again, I suppose you could say Cohen's captures Brockes's actual agenda.

2/10/2007 02:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Meaders said...

Ian Birchall points out another, perhaps more disturbing, "typo":

In the absence of evidence Cohen resorts to falsification. He tells us that the far left’s “theorists had been saying since the early Nineties that if they got into bed with Islam they could ‘secretly try to win some of the young people who support it to a very different, independent, revolutionary socialist perspective’.”

The quote is from an article by Chris Harman in International Socialism journal 64. But Chris never used the word “secretly” – he called for an approach “which fights to win some of the young people”.

Cohen has changed a plea for honest debate into an advocacy of underhand methods. He may claim that it is a printing error or a harmless slip. He is either grossly incompetent or grossly dishonest.

2/21/2007 03:06:00 PM  

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