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Monday, 7 January, 2002, 14:56 GMT
Brothers author admits copying
Lewis and Schwimmer in Band Of Brothers
Band Of Brothers: One of 25 books by Ambrose
Band Of Brothers author Stephen Ambrose has admitted sentences and phrases in his new book The Wild Blue were copied from a work by another historian.

Fred Barnes, the executive editor of The Weekly Standard, accused Professor Ambrose of plagiarism in the magazine's issue on 14 January.

Mr Barnes said The Wild Blue borrowed passages from another book, also about World War II bomber pilots, The Wings Of Morning written by Thomas Childers in 1995.

In a statement issued on Saturday through his publisher, Simon & Schuster, Professor Ambrose said: "I made a mistake for which I am sorry.

'Classy'

"It will be corrected in future editions of the book."

Lancaster gun turret
Both authors write about WWII air gunners
Acknowledging the statement, Professor Childers, of the University of Pennsylvania, told Sunday editions of The New York Times: "I think it is a classy thing to do, and I appreciate it."

According to the article in the The Weekly Standard, Professor Ambrose does acknowledge Professor Childers' work in footnotes to The Wild Blue - but does not admit to quoting directly from the book.

The two books certainly have several similar passages, Mr Barnes' article says.

In The Wings Of Morning, Professor Childers wrote about "ball turret" gunners on American bombers: "It was the most physically uncomfortable, isolated, and terrifying position on the ship. The gunner climbed into the ball, pulled the hatch closed, and was then lowered into position."

Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg were executive producers
Hanks: Executive producer of Band Of Brothers
A section in Professor Ambrose's book also described the plight of the gunners as "the most physically uncomfortable, isolated, and terrifying position on the plane".

It continues: "The gunner climbed into the ball, pulled the hatch closed and was then lowered into position."

Ambrose, a professor emeritus at the University of New Orleans, is the author of more than 25 books.

One of his books, Band of Brothers, was made into a television miniseries by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, and was praised by critics in the UK and US.

See also:

03 Apr 01 | Europe
Italian authors in 'copycat' row
16 Mar 01 | Arts
Larry Potter returns to print
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