First, I would ask every reader of this email to proceed to <http://www.zetetics.com/mac/reason/contract.gif> to access the contract between Smith and McElroy covering the *co-authored* work that George H. Smith claims is his sole property. Note that, by its terms and by my efforts, I supplied to him a finished manuscript on reasoning for his review, which manuscript now is under question as the source of plagiarism for The Reasonable Woman. I have a full 50% ownership claim and right to the work that he is using to support the accusation of plagiarism. This means that -- according to my lawyer, Prometheus' lawyer, and my moral conscience -- I have the right to quote the book in its entirety, should I wish to do so. As it is, The Reasonable Woman was written independently and it 'parallels' the earlier book only in snippets that arose largely from memory as I sat before my PC. I wrote The Reasonable Woman from scratch, clearing my hard disk of all previous material. If it uses wordage or concepts from the previously co-authored work, it is not only my right to do so, it is accidental...I wanted The Reasonable Woman to be an entirely separate work. However, I am the author both of the manuscript used as evidence of plagiarism and the manuscript accused of plagiarism. I have been accused of plagiarizing myself.
The following provides some history which might be useful....
On November 29, 1989, four years after our separation and in the presence of a mutual friend, both George and I signed a contract concerning the book he is claiming as his sole authorship. The opening statement reads: "George H. Smith and Wendy McElroy, having co-authored a book on reasoning (hereinafter the "book"), which they now wish to market and publish, do declare the following to be their understanding of the agreement:"
The agreement documented our 50/50 contribution to the co-authored book that arose as a result of the ten years we lived and worked together as a team. George has claimed I never contributed to the book's evolution or execution except as a typist/transcriber. Just as I was a full co-owner of our enterprise Lysander's Books, a co-signatory on the lease for the office of Forum for Philosophical Studies, I was also his intellectual partner in developing material on reasoning that he constantly interwove throughout the classes and that I converted into the co-authored book, written in an "I" format to make it less clumsy and more personal. The 'co-authorship' contract is an undeniable expression of that full partnership.
Our book was reviewed and rejected in 1991 by Prometheus Books. [The same man at the same press reviewed and accepted my book The Reasonable Woman in 1997.] After our relationship became untenable, I returned to George all material except for redundant copies, which I discarded. I also wiped the material from my hard disk. In late 1994, my agent Simon Green urged me to write a book on reasoning for women. I began from scratch to write up preliminary chapters containing contributions original to me, my personal experiences, any contributions not original to George (e.g. material that had been gleaned from other sources such as Brand Blanshard -- being careful to provide citations), and anything specifically related to women and reasoning. After two rewrites, the book was rejected, and shelved. In 1997, I took another pass at it and the manuscript was accepted on the condition I do a rewrite. If some passages from the manuscript George references parallel passages within The Reasonable Woman it is because both came from the same hand. Mine.