Did you ever have the uneasy feeling the experts
are not . . . well, expert?
"Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau."
--Irving Fisher, professor of economics at Yale University, October 17, 1929
"Forget it, Louis, no Civil War picture ever made a nickel."
--Irving Thalberg's warning to Louis B. Mayer regarding Gone With the Wind
"We don't like their sound. Groups of guitars are on the way out."
--Decca Recording Company executive, turning down the Beatles, 1962
"With over fifty foreign cars already on sale here the Japanese auto industry isn't likely to carve out a big share of the market for itself."--Business Week, 1968
"There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in their home."
--President of Digital Equipment Corporation, 1977
"Bill Clinton will lose to any Republican who doesn't drool on stage."
--The Wall Street Journal, in a 1995 editorial
The Experts Speak systematically catalogues, footnotes, and sets straight these and a couple of thousand other examples of expert misunderstanding, miscalculation, egregious prognostication, boo-boos, and just plain lies. The experts have been wrong about everything under, including, and beyond the sun: time, space, the sexes, the races, the environment, economics, politics, crime, education, the media, history, and science. In this expanded and updated edition (now more error-filled than ever), we see just how much the experts don't know. But the book also goes deeper, presenting a through-the-looking-glass chronicle of human knowledge: the story of what was and is so, as seen through the story of what we wanted to and did believe.
About Victor S Navasky
Victor S. Navasky, the former editor and publisher of The Nation, is the author of, among other books, Naming Names, which won a 1981 National Book Award, and A Matter of Opinion, which won the George Polk Book Award. He teaches at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, where he is the director of the Delacorte Center of Magazine Journalism and chairman of the Columbia Journalism Review.