By Michael D. Gordin
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Extra info for The Pseudoscience Wars: Immanuel Velikovsky and the Birth of the Modern Fringe
In a jokey, informal letter, Shapley wrote to Thackrey suggesting that the latter had been hoodwinked into reproducing a piece of claptrap. ”36 Thackrey retorted hotly: “It seems to me that you are making both a personal and professional mistake—a gravely serious and dangerous one—by the totally unscientiﬁc and viciously emotional character of your attack upon Dr. ”39 In fact, in the entirety of the debate over Velikovsky, Shapley made only one public (in the sense of published) comment on Worlds in Collision, in the Science News-Letter (which he also happened to run) of February 25, 1950.
32 in 2012 dollars] each. ” So far, his censure was like McLaughlin’s and the others’. ”87 A boycott? Now this was bad. Boyd T. ”88 Harris immediately wrote back, asking for Herget to referee the ﬁnal manuscript of an astronomy textbook by Wasley Krogdahl of Northwestern University and confessing that he “deeply regret[ted] that Macmillan published the Velikovsky book. ” So why boycott? ”89 Herget countered: “This would not be the ﬁrst time that the rain has fallen upon the just as well as the unjust.
Putnam had related Velikovsky’s account of the Joshua story while the book was still in press—along with the surprising claim that Velikovsky believed that Central American myths of an especially long night, halfway around the world from the Middle East, were correlated with the Joshua story, thus indicating a common event. Allen enjoyed relating the anecdote at cocktail parties. When Macmillan began circulating materials about Worlds in Collision in late 1949, another editor at Harper’s, Merle Miller, recalled the story, obtained the page proofs of the book, and assigned Larrabee to serialize it.
The Pseudoscience Wars: Immanuel Velikovsky and the Birth of the Modern Fringe by Michael D. Gordin
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