OPINIONSrnA Houdini of Timernby Theodore Pappasrn”I am against the prophets, saith the Lord, that steal my words every onernfrom his neighbour.”rn—Jeremiah 23:30rnThe Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr. Volume I:rnCalled to Serve, January 1929-June 1951rnSenior Editor: Clayhorne Carson,rnVolume Editors: Ralph E. Luker and Penny A. RussellrnBerkeley: University of California Press;rn484 pp., $35.00rnVoice of Deliverance: The Language of Martin LutherrnKing, Jr. and Its Sourcesrnby Keith D. MillerrnNew York: The Free Press; 282 pp., $22.95rnAfter seven years on public and private payrolls as senior editorrnof the King Papers Project, Claybornc Carson has Bnallyrnproduced the first volume of MLK’s papers. The projectrnbegan in 1984, and since 1986 has received a half-million dollarsrnof the taxpayers’ money via the National Endowment forrnthe Humanities. Concerning the amount of public funds goingrndirectly to Carson’s salary, the NEH says “this is confidentialrninformation off-limits to the public.” The project is alsornbacked by the National Historical Publications and RecordsrnCommission, James Irvine Foundation, Eord Eoundation,rnRockefeller Eoundation, Stanford University, Emory University,rnIBM, Intel, and the Stanford University Associates of the KingrnPapers Project. These are many of the same sources that,rnTheodore Pappas is the associate editor of Chronicles.rnalong with the NEH, have supported the Marcus Garvey andrnUniversal Negro Improvement Association Papers, whosernU.C. L. A. editor began collecting documents in 1970 and hasrnstill finished only seven volumes of the 11-volume set. ClydernWilson—editor of The Papers of]ohn C. Calhoun, and with arnstaff of one and a bare-bones budget—has published 11 volumesrnin 15 years.rnIf Clayhorne Carson had been candid with the public fromrnthe very beginning of the controversy over King’s plagiarisms,rnthe long delay in publishing the first volume might be excusedrnand justified. After all, the thousands of plagiarizedrnpassages in King’s sermons, speeches, college papers, seminaryrnessays, doctoral dissertation, and published book reviewsrnand articles could so overwhelm an editor that a plea for patiencernwould be understandable. But Carson chose duplicityrnover disclosure, opting to misrepresent the facts, to hide therntruth as long as possible, and to set in motion the official spinrnon the controversy.rnIn 1989, when he was asked by Erank Johnson of the LondonrnTelegraph about the “rumor” that King plagiarized hisrn1955 doctoral dissertation at Boston University, Carson calledrnthe charge unwarranted, saying “It’s really not true [that Kingrnplagiarized].” Even after the story broke Carson persisted inrnapplying whitewash with half-truths and academic doubletalk.rnI le spoke not of plagiarism—the dreaded “p-word” thatrnhe forbade everyone at the project’s headquarters at Stanfordrnever to use—but of “paraphrasing,” “similarities,” and “textualrnappropriations” as “part of a successful compositionrnmethod.” This blather and “lack of forthrightness” with therntruth led the journal of American History to reject the articlern26/CHRONICLESrnrnrn