The Duck of Minerva

Dan-Nexon-Gets-Taken-to-the-Woodshed Alert

7 July 2011

In honor of Brad DeLong’s “smackdown” posts, I hereby inaugurate an occasional chronicle of public embarrassment by pointing to Andreas Osiander‘s (correct) indictment of errors of typography, historical sequence, and fact in The Struggle for Power in Early Modern Europe. I find this particularly cringeworthy because:

  • I discovered a number of the typographical and, for lack of a better term, proper-name-construction errors right after the book came out (but not during the copyediting process) and already went through a round of self-flagellation about them;
  • A not insignificant number of the other issues take the form of “I wrote what?!?!”; and
  • The rest reflect my poor grounding in German imperial history–a problem I’d been aware of for years and yet never took the necessary steps to correct after the dissertation grew to include central European cases. 

I’m therefore incredibly lucky to have gotten a reviewer who also points out that these errors don’t implicate the fundamental argument, and that the majority of reviews in historical journals have agreed with this assessment.

Still… d’oh.