Book of the Month

Zakaria suspended for copying other writer's work

AP's Frazier Moore, yesterday.


 Columnist and TV host Fareed Zakaria has apologized for lifting several paragraphs by another writer for use in his column in Time magazine. His column has been suspended for a month.


Media reporters had noted similarities between passages in Zakaria's column about gun control that appeared in Time's Aug. 20 issue, and paragraphs from an article by Harvard University history professor Jill Lepore published in April in The New Yorker magazine.


Read the full article at

I just don't get how this happened.  Zakaria does good work and his laziness just smeared all that.  Usually, when someone plagiarizes, they have enough sense to pull from something a little more obscure.  Jill LePore's New Yorker article was all over the place after the movie theater shooting in Colorado  and it made a huge impact.  He had to know someone would recognize her words.

I used portions of it in a long comment in my own post about the shooting.  I can't get the comment to link here because. . .it seems I don't know how!



He is doing too much.  I've met him a few times.  Nice guy, with a high sense of his own self regard.  When I met him, he was editing Newsweek International, working the speaking circuit, and had a new book out.  Any of those are a full time job.  He miscredited a New Yorker author, taking her take on a book that she'd read on his own.  I'd like to see him buckle down and maybe cancel a few projects -- focus on being an analyst rather than a brand.  People aren't brands and when they try to be, this kind of thing happens.

More on Zakaria.  I am taking the liberty of pasting in the entire correction and earlier article, as I believe the Post is trying to get this right, we are talking about the professional reputation of a writer, and therefore the full version of the facts should be readily available, rather than excerpts.  



This article incorrectly states that in his 2008 book, “The Post-American World,” Fareed Zakaria failed to cite the source of a quotation taken from another book. In fact, Zakaria did credit the other work, by Clyde V. Prestowitz.  Endnotes crediting Prestowitz were contained in hardcover and paperback editions of Zakaria’s book. The Post should have examined copies of the books and should not have published the article. We regret the error and apologize to Fareed Zakaria.

More questions raised about Fareed Zakaria’s work

By , Published: August 13

Columnist and TV host Fareed Zakaria, who acknowledged plagiarizing parts of a magazine article last week, appears to have also published without attribution a passage from a 2005 book.

Zakaria’s 2008 book, “The Post-American World,” contains a quote from former Intel Corp. chief executive Andy Grove about the nation’s economic power. “America is in danger of following Europe down the tubes, and the worst part is that nobody knows it,” Grove says in Zakaria’s book. “They’re all in denial, patting themselves on the back as the Titanic heads straight for the iceberg full speed ahead.”

The first edition of Zakaria’s book, which became a bestseller, makes no mention of the comment’s source, nor does a paperback version of “Post-American World” published in 2009.

In fact, Grove’s comment was published three years earlier in “Three Billion New Capitalists: The Great Shift of Power to the East,” by former Commerce Department official Clyde V. Prestowitz.

In an interview Monday, Prestowitz said Grove made the comment in an interview Prestowitz conducted while he was researching his book. The quote appears in the book’s first chapter.

Prestowitz, who heads the Economic Strategy Institute, a Washington think tank, said he contacted Zakaria about the Grove quote when “The Post-American World” was published four years ago but received no response. Prestowitz said that he also mentioned the lack of attribution to his editor and agent, but that he doesn’t know if they raised the issue with Zakaria or his publisher.

Zakaria finally acknowledged Prestowitz in the footnotes of “The Post-American World 2.0,” an updated and expanded version of his original book that was published last year. The footnote attributes part of the passage containing the comment to Thomas Friedman’s 2006 bestseller, “The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century.” It then notes, “Andy Grove’s statement is quoted in Clyde Prestowitz, ‘Three Billion New Capitalists. . . .’”

Zakaria, in an interview Monday, defended the practice of not attributing quotes in a popular book. “As I write explicitly [in the book], this is not an academic work where everything has to be acknowledged and footnoted,” he said. The book contains “hundreds” of comments and quotes that aren’t attributed because doing so, in context, would “interrupt the flow for the reader,” he said.

He compared his technique to other popular non-fiction authors. “Please look at other books in this genre and you will notice that I'm following standard practice,” he said.

“I should not be judged by a standard that's not applied to everyone else,” he added. “People are piling on with every grudge or vendetta. The charge is totally bogus.”

Prestowitz was unmoved. “I think there should be an apology,” he said Monday. “I don’t want to unfairly level accusations [because] those of us who are writers know a lot of things can happen. But I feel I have a justifiable complaint. It kind of has been bugging me for a while.”

On Friday, Zakaria apologized to Time magazine, its readers and historian Jill Lepore for an Aug. 20 Time column on gun control that he acknowledged contained material taken without attribution from an article Lepore wrote in April for the New Yorker magazine. Time and CNN, which airs Zakaria’s weekly discussion program, both suspended him after his admission. Part of Zakaria’s column was published on

Zakaria also writes a separate column for The Washington Post. The newspaper said on Monday that his column will not appear this month.


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