First, the biting humor –
In his talk, Fitzgerald says that if you don’t like the talk, you won’t like the book. And so rather than looking at it as having wasted an hour from my life listening to the talk, I have saved myself the longer amount of time I would have wasted reading the book.
And so begins…
Let me sum up the essence of my criticism, before elaborating in detail. Fitzgerald makes frequent errors of fact, and when he doesn’t, he is largely presenting information that is common knowledge to scholars and those who read their works. And so he is very much like a creationist – not having any expertise in the area in question, utterly dependent on experts for the information that he does have, misunderstanding some of it, and ridiculing experts when he thinks he has reached a more plausible conclusion. And so, in a nutshell, this is a work of pseudoscholarly apologetics (or counter-apologetics) and not something that will consistently provide accurate information, much less offer plausible interpretations of that data.
Anyway, you can save your time listening to the lecture or reading the dime store novel and just read James’ post here.
- James McGrath on responsible blog ownership (westernthm.wordpress.com)