Columbia’s Charles K. Armstrong returns prize for high-profile book with 70+ corrections

Historians in the News
tags: AHA, John K Fairbank Prize, Tyranny of the Weak, Charles K Armstrong



Related Links

● News story in Inside Higher Ed (includes quote from Charles Armstrong)

● From Whoops to Sorry: Columbia University history prof relives 1968

A historian based at Columbia University has returned a 2014 prize after criticisms prompted him to issue more than 70 corrections to his prominent book about North Korea.

Charles Armstrong told Retraction Watch he returned the 2014 John K. Fairbank Prize he received for “Tyranny of the Weak” due to “numerous citation errors.” The book has faced heavy criticism, including allegations of plagiarism and using invalid sources.

The American Historical Society, which issues the Fairbank Prize, released a statement last week:

In 2014, the American Historical Association (AHA) awarded its John K. Fairbank Prize to Tyranny of the Weak: North Korea and the World, 1950–1992, by Charles K. Armstrong. After careful review the AHA identified a set of citations that did not meet professional standards. In response to AHA queries, Dr. Armstrong reviewed his work and the underlying scholarship and identified a number of instances where the source citations were incorrect. Dr. Armstrong has corrected the citation errors and, out of respect for the AHA, has returned the Fairbank Prize. ...




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