Cites, Please

Steve Weinberg, writing in the Baltimore Sun, scolds non-fiction writers whose books fail to provide indexes and sourcing.

He singles out two famous writers for special criticism: Kitty Kelley and Bob Woodward.

Weinberg says:

Authors such as Woodward, and, by extension, editors such as Mayhew and publishers such as Simon & Schuster, offer all sorts of reasons for failing to provide source notes: They clutter a book. Readers never look at them anyway. Readers trust us. The sources are too sensitive to be identified. Adding extra pages drives up book prices.

This is not an exhaustive list, but it conveys the tenor of the discussion. The point is that every reason stated to me over 35 years of discussion is garbage.

I agree. I never take a non-fiction book seriously if it lacks sourcing and an index.

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