Why You Have to Be Careful With Wikipedia

You have to be careful what you read on Wikipedia. It’s a great resource in a lot of ways, if you know what you’re looking for. Not too long ago I found a Wikipedia entry on Edmund A. Walsh (seen here with Douglas MacArthur), who was the subject of my dissertation and my first book. Walsh did a lot of different things in his life. One of them was founding Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service, the first school of its kind in the country. Wikipedia tells us that “[h]is motivation for doing so came as a result of his experiences at the Versailled Conference of 1919, where he believed U.S. diplomats to have been inadequately trained.” Not only is this plain incorrect, but the article goes on to cite my book as a source! I know I should probably change this, but I like to leave it there to make a point with my students. Be careful with Wikipedia! It is, to quote the title of the British Cardinal John Heenan’s autobiography, Not the Whole Truth.

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