Our Response to Charles Davis’ Attack on Angela Nagle

May 22nd, 2018 | By | Category: Articles

In response to the recent allegation from Charles Davis at the Daily Beast, we want to make it clear that we are resolutely behind Angela Nagle and are proud to have published Kill All Normies.

Davis alleged that she committed plagiarism but his examples only demonstrate that his repeated central claim that she lifted passages and paragraphs verbatim is false. All of the arguments, ideas, and analysis in Nagle’s book are original. The absence of footnotes and academic referencing was the result of her conforming to the house style for a short work of cultural criticism, not academic research.

A few genuine cases where citation should have been used made it into the draft due to haste, not intent, while working from notes she gathered over a long period. These were innocent mistakes, unimportant to the overall analysis, which will be corrected for a revised edition of Kill All Normies that Nagle had already been working on before these allegations arose.

Most of the article is in fact bulked up with vague insinuations that fall apart on further inspection. In the sections about Chateau Heartiste and Kony2012, there were only a few scattered consecutive words in common. In the claim about the Sokal affair, the commonalities were simply mundane factual information necessary for a basic summary of the incident. In the Roosh V example, Nagle attributed his quote to him in quotation marks and there was no plagiarism, as implied.

The examples with Jordan Peterson and Claire Lehman provide no evidence of plagiarism, cut and pasting or lifting of passages either and are clearly included in a thinly veiled attempt to imply a political affinity between Nagle and those the author characterizes as ‘right wing’. The accusation that she has stolen from Andrew Hartman is false as she cites him six times in the book, including a few lines above where Davis points to. Hartman also has read and is a fan of the book. No legal definition, no serious publication, reader or writer could possibly consider examples like these to be anything close to a verbatim reproduction. So what are all of these doing in an article about her alleged plagiarism?

The truth is that the article is a non-story about sloppy citation and a smear piece of a kind that have a funny way of plaguing critics who go off-message politically. Since the publishing of what is for us an explosively best selling book, there has been an almost year-long campaign of abuse against Nagle for her analysis of online left identity politics. Frankly, it is something most of us at Zero Books haven’t witnessed up close before, with the exception of a member of our team who was the editor of the North Star when Mark Fisher published his controversial essay “Exiting the Vampire Castle”. But she claims it wasn’t until she began publicly criticising the state department line on Syria that attacks ramped up and made their way into the corporate media from an anarchist blog, in which minor errors were used to imply that Nagle was channeling the ideas of Russian philosopher Alexander Dugin, a common claim made against critics of military intervention. The fact that such a media pipeline exists and that the piece is now being used by misogynist trolls like Roosh and Vdare to further attack Nagle should give the authors of such smear campaigns pause for thought.

-Zero Books

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