Book Agent: Ben Carson Had ‘No Intent To Plagiarize’

Alex Pappas | Political Reporter

Ben Carson’s literary agent tells The Daily Caller that the likely Republican presidential candidate did not intentionally commit plagiarism in his 2012 book, “America the Beautiful: Rediscovering What Made This Nation Great.”

“We know for certain that Dr. or Mrs. Carson had no intent to plagiarize,” agent Sealey Yates said in a Wednesday interview. “That was not what they were trying to do.”

On Tuesday, BuzzFeed posted an article showing similarities between Carson’s book, which he wrote with his wife Candy, and a variety of other sources, including from material published in 2002 by a website called SocialismSucks.net.

Entire paragraphs, word for word, like this from SocialismSucks.net appeared in Carson’s book: “Anytime you give to government the responsibility and authority to provide government-made jobs, old-age financial security, ‘free’ health care, and ‘free’ education and indoctrination of children, it will control the lives of the people who live under its jurisdiction, and individual liberty and freedom of choice are sacrificed.”

BuzzFeed noted how Carson’s book also apparently lifted material from authors Cleon Skousen and Bill Federer (who has since come out and said he doesn’t consider it plagiarism), a CBS News article and other works.

Speaking by phone, Yates, the literary agent, said he and the Carsons were in the process of trying to fully understand the situation.

“The Carsons, in writing this book, did everything that they thought they were supposed to do to provide the source material for their book,” Yates said. “And both in terms of footnoting, providing attribution, as best they could. They delivered a completed manuscript to the publisher and they then relied on the editorial staff, which every author does.”

Added Yates: “The fact is we don’t know exactly what happened, because we haven’t had time to properly and adequately evaluate what happened once the manuscript was delivered to the publisher.”

“But in fairness to the publisher and everybody else, we’re trying to take the time to figure out historically and accurately what happened,” he said.

Armstrong Williams, an aide to Carson, declined to make the former neurosurgeon immediately available for an interview, explaining Carson wants to wait before speaking out.

“I can tell you that Dr. and Mrs. Carson want to do, have always wanted to and will do the right thing,” Yates said. “They need to, however, have the time to evaluate, to have the publisher work with them to figure out what happened and then determine if there were errors or mistakes made [and then] make corrections as necessary to fully do the right thing.”

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