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Second Author Accuses Kennedy Biographer of Swiping Work

July 25, 1993

BOSTON (AP) _ A second biographer says author Joe McGinniss improperly lifted her work for his controversial book on Sen. Edward M. Kennedy.

Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of ″The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys,″ said Saturday that McGinniss’ ″The Last Brother″ improperly quotes from her sources or cites a letter she used for her book without crediting her.

Earlier, author William Manchester complained in New York magazine that McGinniss essentially lifted 187 passages from his 1967 book ″The Death of a President.″

″This whole past week, I was reading what William Manchester was going through and feeling enormous empathy for him,″ Goodwin said.

McGinniss acknowledged in the book that he relied on the work of Manchester, Goodwin and others in writing ″The Last Brother.″

But in an interview with The Boston Globe, he defended his work as original and said no one else has written a book looking at Edward Kennedy’s life in such depth.

″Now that the book is out, I hope people judge it for themselves,″ he said.

Kennedy refused to be interviewed for the book, and at one point publisher Simon & Shuster was going to add a disclaimer to it saying that thoughts and comments attributed to the senator were invented.

The disclaimer was removed at the insistence of McGinniss, who agreed to add an author’s note explaining that he used ″biographer’s licence″ in reflecting what Kennedy might have been thinking.

Goodwin said that in some instances McGinniss quotes her directly, ″and that is perfectly fine.″

″But there are times when he goes directly to a primary source that comes from my work, for example, my interviews with Lem Billings (a close friend of the Kennedys) or Rose Kennedy,″ Goodwin said.

″Or he’ll go to a letter I dug out of the Kennedy library and present it as if, perhaps, he had found it,″ she said.

Manchester has threatened to sue McGinniss. Goodwin said that before she decides what action to take she wants to speak with Simon & Schuster, which is also her publisher.

″I feel tremendous loyalty to them,″ she said.

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