Monday, July 23, 2007

Consider the Source

I recently picked up two very different political books from the library, A Mormon in the White House by Hugh Hewitt and Storm World by Chris Mooney. So far I have yet to do more than scan both books but I have found a few differences that are very striking.
One book is written by a talk show host. It has 292 pages of text, no footnotes, no end notes, no bibliography and no works cited pages.
The other is written by a journalist who covers science and politics. It has 276 pages of text, 13 pages of appendixes, 78 pages of end notes and sources, 3 pages with over 50 books of recommended readings, and 5 pages describing the various personal interviews cited.
I accept that just because something is sourced doesn't necessarily make it true and that just because something isn't sourced doesn't necessarily make it false. I just find it more than a little ironic considering the criticism that conservative radio hosts heap on liberals for making unsubstantiated claims.
I will read both books with an open-mind. I just wanted to share my first impressions.

7-24-2007 update
As I read Hewitt's book I see that he does give a form of sourcing. He includes it all inside the text rather than endnotes or footnotes. It's much harder to follow up on this type of sourcing since he just says things like, "in Mitt's book Turnaround.." and doesn't give a page number, but to be fair he does have them.

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