Ellis Vietnam War Wannabe -- Contact -- Collectible Quotes
but completely serviceable.
Joe Ellis Quotes: by and about Joseph Ellis
What people are saying about Joseph Ellis.
Joe Ellis Returns
"prof. ellis is quieter" whats with that? did the suspension make him
different? anyone have opinion? who teaches his vietnam class now?
liked him before" from April 1, 2003,
Daily Jolt thread - prof. ellis is quieter
"On my first day back, I met two classes: the American history survey class and a
freshman seminar in the afternoon. Because of the presence of a reporter, I was not able
to make a broad statement. However, I have visited privately with my students. Most have
said, We either dont care about that at this point, lets get on with the
subject here. Once my own rhythms as a teacher inside the classroom start to move, I
really find that very fulfilling and that takes over me." - Joe Ellis interviewed in The Mount Holyoke News
Sept. 18, 2002.
Joe Ellis: Democratic Party Political Operative Rides Again
"He [Joseph Ellis] said that he will vote for Al Gore on November 7 and predicted
that the three most significant domestic issues of the near future will be health care,
for which he sees the development of a universal plan as inevitable; gun control, which he
believes will be strengthened; and gay rights, likely to become the new civil
right. But Ellis said he believes that if either candidate today fully supported
these inevitable future developments, it would cost him the
election." College Street Journal on Joseph Ellis in Ellis on the Founding
"Brothers," "Gush and Bore," and the Future, November 2, 2000.
Joe Ellis Repents
"Even in the best of lives, mistakes are made" - Joseph Ellis.
"I deeply regret having let stand and later confirming the assumption that I went
to Vietnam. For this and any other distortions about my personal life, I want to apologize
to my family, friends, colleagues and students. Beyond that circle, however, I shall have
no further comment."
Joe Ellis: False Modesty Before The Fall
"Heavens no, I'm not a star; maybe more like a comet or meteor..., But during the
time I'm blazing, I'm going to have a good time." - Joseph Ellis, Mount Holyoke
Vista, Spring 1998 Vol. 2 number 4.
Joe Ellis: Democratic Party Political Operative
(Joe Ellis: Mount Holyoke's Answer To Alec Baldwin, Rosey O'Donnell, Ed
Asner and Barbra Streisand)
"It is as if Clinton had called one of the most respected character witnesses in all
of U.S. history to testify that the primal urge has a most distinguished presidential
pedigree." - Joseph Ellis in "Jefferson Fathered Slave's Last Child."
"To my three sons, Peter, Scott, and Alexander who pulled me from the 18th Century
and back into the present on a regular basis and therefore made me a better person, thank
you. And to my wife, who sits at the table there. Who is right about almost
everything." - National Book Award: Winners' Acceptance Speeches, Joseph J. Ellis
"Phu Cat could teach one helluva History Class." - anonymous post to Daily Jolt
from "an honest question" (Guest) RE: On Academic Feminism 8/03, 8:32 pm.
"If love of history is all it takes, I'd be your man, but I think there's more to it
than that. When it comes to teaching about the Vietnam War, I figure Joe Ellis has got it
all over me in all factors but one. - Richard Rongstad (aka Phu Cat to Phu Quoc), RE: On Academic
Feminism, as Big Bad Wolf 8/04, 12:49 am in Daily Jolt.
"Ranger tabs and all that stuff, Talk real big, and think they're tough, Scum who
brag so all can see, Ain't no man, just a Wannabee." - Charlie Broz
in The Ballad of the Wannabees a parody
of the Ballad of the Green Berets by Barry Sadler
"Bet your jump boots if my son were still attending one of the Five Colleges, he
wouldn't be sitting in this phony's class." - Col. David Hackworth,
101st Airborne Division veteran, www.hackworth.com.
"The puke's danced on the graves of all my friends who didn't come back and
diminished all of our deeds" - retired Army Col. Ben Willis
to Col. David Hackworth .
"Fight'in Joe Ellis - a desperate man - Joe Ellis performs a routine examination into
the details of the Vietnam War. Joe suddenly gasps; 'I am not there. How could I have
missed being a part of a fabled/notorious/glorious/hated/conundrum called the Vietnam
War?'" - Greg Linscott
in alt.war.vietnam ("Fight'in
"If I were an avid mountain climbing student and my instructor claimed conquest of
Everest, I would strain for every word. If I were an avid history student and my prof
claimed participation, I would be very attentive and accept every word as gospel." -
in Re: Mt. Holyoke/Ellis reply, Newsgroups: alt.war.vietnam, Date: 2001-06-29 16:18:18
"Why should I go be a ground-pounder in Vietnam when I can polish my academic
credentials here at West Point?" - Joe Ellis paraphrased according to Egon R. Tausch ,
former infantry company commander in Vietnam and member of West Point history faculty in
"To The Daughters of Veterans at Mount Holyoke College...I petition you the youthful
trustees of America to question Mount Holyoke College in light of the common act seen
daily at the Vietnam Veterans National Memorial where old men, and way to many children
reach out and touch a name and like Private Ryan, ask questions. Ask Professor Ellis what
the names say to him?" - Joseph M. Kralich,
U.S. Army Vietnam, 1969-1972, 4/31, 196th Light Infantry Brigade (Medic), 326th Medical
Battalion, 101st Airborne (Medic) etc.., Consultant to A&E Television "Combat
Medicine", episode w/ George C. Scott (On camera interviews), Consultant to China
Beach, Warner Brothers.
"To The Daughters of Veterans at Mount Holyoke College...I suspect that Professor
Ellis will never again speak off campus in an open forum without a few Vietnam Vets
protesting outside." - Joseph Kralich .
"To The Daughters of Veterans at Mount Holyoke College...Did you see Private Ryan?
The only scene I want to bring to mind is the first, when an aged Private Ryan after
seeing the grave of his Captain, some 50 years later, asks his wife: "am I a good
man? have I lived a good life?" - Joseph Kralich .
"The writing of history and the honor and reputation of real veterans is much too
important to allow this to pass. Without stern punishment for Joseph Ellis, the history
profession risks a widening of the corruption that surfaced with it's partisan pro-Clinton
politics and will become increasingly distrusted. Unlike Joseph Ellis, I am a real Vietnam
War veteran" - Richard Rongstad
in alt.vietnam.veterans, alt.war.vietnam, soc.culture.vietnamese.
"How about a lying sack of shit with a political agenda can't be trusted as a
contemporary historian?" - Matt Osborn
in "Re: Joe Ellis Vietnam vet wannabe", alt.vietnam.veterans, alt.war.vietnam,
"'Distortions' my ass; he lied. He lied to his wife, he lied to his children, he lied
to his boss and he lied to every student who ever looked up to him. Every word he ever
uttered should now be subject to scrutiny. Sorry to say that this will blow over by weeks
end." - John Mercadante
B-7/1 Air Cav, 1970-71 in alt.vietnam.veterans, alt.war.vietnam, soc.culture.vietnamese.
"This, unfortunately is the year 2001, and we as a nation declared 1998 to be the
'Year of the Liar'. We collectively decided in 1998 that lying was OK, as long as it was
about something as unimportant as sex or service in Vietnam, since 'everybody lies about
that'. We declared that JFK lied and Thomas Jefferson lied and Abraham Lincoln lied and
everybody lies, so lying is no big deal. Honesty is a 19th century virtue that is long
obsolete. Integrity went out with high-button shoes. We will reap what we have sown. You
heard it here first." - John Mercadante .
"...you have stepped way out of your depth, professor. What you did was not a little
mistake or one of your "personal shortcomings," as you have suggested, but a
heinous fraud which you perpetrated upon the malleable minds of your young students with
vacuous ease." - from An
Open Letter to Professor Joseph J. Ellis Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA 01075
From a Real Viet Nam Veteran and Real Former Antiwar Activist by Robert Bowie Johnson,
Jr. Airborne, Ranger, Infantry, Vietnam West Point, Class of 1965.
"Your lies are an explicit slur on all those who actually lived through what was for
you nothing but hypocritical-and now infamous-pretense." - Robert Bowie Johnson, Jr.
"I'm James Bonded, formerly PhuCatToPhuQuoc, formerly Huggy Bear. You'll be both
shaken and stirred, because I'm licensed to thrill. James, James Bonded." - from
James Bonded, also known to the young ladies of Mount Holyoke College as Big Bad Wolf. See
wished he could have been here
Mount Holyoke College
"Joe Ellis has been a star, our star, from the time he came to Mount Holyoke in
1972." - Dean of Faculty, June 18, 2001.
"We at the College do not know what public interest the Globe is trying to serve
through a story of this nature." - Joanne Creighton, President, Mount Holyoke
"I am committed to preserving the academic standards and integrity of Mount Holyoke
College and, at the same time, to respecting Professor Ellis's rights." - President
"Like most colleges and universities, Mount Holyoke has procedures legislated by its
faculty for situations in which the professional fitness of a faculty member has been
called into question." - Dean of Faculty Donal O'Shea.
"We can all take pride in our collective achievements: the record-setting number of
applicants to the College, our heightened profile and respect in the world (topped off
recently by our Pulitzer Prize winner, Joe Ellis, whose work is deeply informed by his
interactions with students, past and present)" - Joanne V. Creighton, President and
Eleanor Graham Claus '55, Chair, Board of Trustees, letter to Mount Holyoke Community May
"Outside the Mount Holyoke cloister, the solution is obvious -- fire Ellis. Inside
the cloister, there is paranoia about outsiders. From the safety of their dorm rooms,
students are whining about outsiders coming into the Daily Jolt." - Daily Jolt,
non-student (Guest), Ellis - Sept 5th convocation 8/02, 12:47 pm
"Most impressively, Ellis was instrumental in recruiting such distinguished
faculty members as the late Nobel Prize-winning poet Joseph Brodsky and former
National Security Adviser Anthony Lake." - Faculty Profiles: Joseph
J. Ellis Ford Foundation Professor of History -- Ellis, Brodsky and
Lake - The Odd Bunch
"I predict that when classes are back in session Ellis will be staring at a lot of
empty seats." - MHC senior in Daily Jolt, Aug. 3, 2001. http://mhc.dailyjolt.com/forum/read.html?id=4522
"Students and veterans in the Mt. Holyoke dailyjolt http://mhc.dailyjolt.com/forum/read.html?id=4630
are discussing the future of the Vietnam class that Joe [Elli]s used to teach. [W]ellesley
has a very impressive Vietnam course taught by William A. Joseph. http://www.wellesley.edu/Polisci/wj/wjhome.html
How did Wellesley manage to put on a substantive course on Vietnam while MHCstudents got
Vietnam-lite? What can MHC students do to solve this problem?" - alt-fan-joe (Guest)
8/07, 11:58 am in Mount Holyoke Daily Jolt asking "Why is Wellesley better than Mt
"If plagiarism is an academic offense, isn't lying about a war record a form a
plagiarism? Is the unauthorized and unattributed use of the memories of others any
different than the unauthorized and unattributed use of their words?" Plagiarism: Daily Jolt (Aug. 1,
"Angel Kozeli, a new media producer for WBUR-FM who graduated from Mount Holyoke last
year, spoke on the air yesterday about how Ellis, during a course in the spring of 2000,
told students about his proximity to the My Lai massacre, in which American troops
massacred several hundred Vietnamese civilians. - 'Professor apologizes for fabrications',
by Patrick Healy and Walter V. Robinson, Boston Globe, June 19, 2001.
"He definitely illustrated a lot of points with his experiences in Vietnam" -
"He was the veteran who came back and participated in the antiwar movement. So his
perspective is very liberal" - Katherine Clouse, Mount Holyoke 2001, audited Joe
Ellis's Vietnam course last year, recalling Ellis's view of the war from what he said in
"When he is teaching... he uses different anecdotes from his own personal experience
in Vietnam ... to help us understand it better. But he doesn't want to force feed the
class his personal views. He does have a very objective view of the war. He is able to
step back from his own war experience in Vietnam." - Brooke Thomson, Mount Holyoke
"He was honest about his experience in the war and its effect on him as a person...
The course allowed me to imagine myself in the circumstances he faced. Having the course
taught by someone who was there helped." - Erich C. Carey, Amherst senior saying
"he was impressed by Ellis's Amherst course, the Literature on Vietnam" (Boston
Globe June 18, 2001).
"I'm staring down the barrel of graduation, and I think back to that course and how
the war was a test of his manhood ... It almost made me a tad jealous of people who had
that choice to make - whether to go or not. He had gone, taken the test of manhood, and
passed it." - Erich C. Carey.
[Professor Ellis] "told us about a fellow, a strong jock, a college football player,
who was drafted and came to Vietnam. They were out in the field, and this guy was reading
Emily Dickinson poems that brought him to tears. That was the kind of stress these men
were placed under." - Erich C. Carey.
"It never would have occurred to me that he was being disingenuous...It seems
incongruous that he would be living a lie like this." - Peter Juran, Amherst senior
who took Ellis's class, the Literature of Vietnam.
"He has all the right credentials. There was no need for him to fabricate any of
this" - Peter Juran.
"I had Joe for his Vietnam class. What I learned in that class had nothing to do with
his war record (or lack thereof). I learned what I learned from Joe Ellis because he's an
excellent teacher, period. The people who are calling for Joe to resign or for the college
to fire him seem to be missing this point. Ellis wasn't hired for being a war hero. He was
hired for his academic record, his teaching abilities. He was granted tenure for the same
reasons...he's a brilliant academic. Who cares if he fought in the war, if he played
football in high school, or what his level of participation was in the anti-war
movement?" - Deirdre Ewing \'01 (Guest) in Daily Jolt: RE: Ellis Update
6/19, 3:13 pm
"Should Professor Ellis have lied? Of course not. Is it something we all do at some
point or another? Yes. And as we all should know, sometimes we exagerate/lie about our
lives and experiences so often that we begin to believe our own hype. If you've never lied
in your life, go ahead...pass all the judgement you want. But for those of you who are as
human as Professor Ellis, you may want to slow down and put things in perspective, think
about the man's positive traits as well as his flaws before jumping onto a moral high
horse." - Deirdre Ewing \'01.
"Would you believe Joe Ellis was a classmate of mine at W&M? He was A Company
Commander our senior year. As I remember correctly, I didn't think all that well of him.
Gene ABV61-1043.001.HCB http://www.tckworld.com/opfoot
- From: STEAM GENE (firstname.lastname@example.orgOpFoot), Subject: Re: Bogus Jane Fonda story
Newsgroups: alt.culture.military-brats, Date: 2001-08-08 11:57:32 PST.
"Joe Ellis is the Vanilla Ice of the historical profession" - Robin D. G.
Kelley, New York University professor of history.
"Teachers who make mistakes still deserve trust; teachers who knowingly deceive
students do not." - Elliot Gorn.
"Yes, academics are interested in the case, and they are certainly happy to gossip
over it. But I have heard more embarrassed tittering than strong opinions as to what all
this means for our profession." - Elliot Gorn.
"I'm kind of sick of even talking about Joe Ellis. It's psychologists and not
historians who should be looking into why he did this." - anonymous history professor
quoted by Ana Marie Cox.
"Readers have to understand that whatever objective claims historians may make, they
are invested in the things they write" - Michael Zuckerman, history professor,
University of Pennsylvania (NYT, 'A History Of His Own Making', June 24, 2001).
"Some friends said his stories were so compelling and realistic that if it hadn't
been for his admission of guilt, they would have assumed that it was the government that
was lying. Maybe, the theory went, Mr. Ellis's military records weren't found for a
reason." - Ana Marie Cox.
"Joe was a superb student. But an antiwar activist? I don't recall anything like
that" - Gaddis Smith, Yale history professor who has written about the antiwar
movement at Yale.
"I don't recall him being active at all" - Edmond Morgan, Yale History,
Emeritus, commenting on Joseph Ellis's claims to antiwar activism.
"Professor Ellis, Baron Mï¿½nchausen salutes you.... Baron Mï¿½nchausen preceded
Professor Ellis as an inventor of Airborne Cavalry by riding his horse aloft on several
notable occasions." - Peter Wood, associate provost at Boston University. (Baron Karl
Friedrich Hieronymus Mï¿½nchausen, 1720-1797, was a German soldier, adventurer and teller
of very tall tales.)
"Knowingly being dishonest in class is just as great an act of moral turpitude as
being knowingly dishonest or inaccurate in your written work" - David Garrow,
Pulitzer prizewinning historian, Emory University in 'A History Of His Own Making'.
"You just know there's going to be a tribunal of self-appointed thesis students
poring through his work looking for every little mistake." - Robert Nylen, former
professor at Smith College and friend of Joseph Ellis in 'A History Of His Own Making'.
"Professors have an obligation in the classroom to be forthright and truthful about
their own personal experiences" - Arnita Jones, Executive Director, American Historical Association.
"It should be the responsibility of human beings to represent themselves as they are
- and I suppose scholars have an additional responsibility, since we're members of a
profession that has standards of behavior" - Robert Kreiser, officer of the American
Association of University Professors.
"In my view, Mount Holyoke College let Professor Ellis off much too lightly, for one
compelling reason that few seem to have considered--the fact that Professor Ellis also
served for several years as Dean of the Mount Holyoke faculty." - James Brewer
Stewart, James Wallace Professor of History, Macalester College.
Media Reports and Commentary
Historian "Professor Joseph Ellis, who had signed a resolution against President
Clinton's impeachment, proclaimed that Jefferson's sexual sins 'gives Clinton additional
cover and makes it more difficult to be as critical of this kind of behavior.'" -
Gary DeMar in "The Spirit of Thomas Jefferson", editorial written for Biblical
Worldview Online!, January 1999.
"So now it turns out that Thomas Jefferson was having sex with Sally Hemings
while serving in the 101st Airborne during the Vietnam War." - Ann Coulter.
"Unfortunately, proof of a Jefferson-Hemings liaison was as fanciful as Professor
Ellis' war service." - Ann Coulter.
"Hey, said the spin doctors--no big deal! Every does it! Look at Thomas Jefferson--he
fathered slaves! " - Dan Ford.
August 18, 2001 Readers
Sound Off About Joe Ellis's Suspension - quotes on History News Network.
"We want facts to be true." - Norah Vincent, Village Voice.
"Truth telling is the first building block of character -- a quality that seems to be
getting rarer and rarer in all-forgiving America." - Mona Charen.
"For educated Americans like Joseph Ellis, Vietnam is a special hang-up. I am an
Englishman of exactly the Vietnam generation, a couple of years younger than Ellis;
indeed, for reasons too complicated to explain here, I was nearly drafted into the US army
in 1965. I know many Americans of my own age and, as much to the point, my own class -
journalists, publishers, lawyers. And I don't think I know one who served in
Vietnam." - Geoffrey Wheatcroft.
"I always wonder how any of us could stand seeing our worst 10 moments on
videotape." - Ellen Goodman.
"We may never know why Joe Ellis fabricated a heroic past. But we know that the life
he embellished has deeply diminished the life he'd earned. " - Ellen Goodman.
"As dean of the faculty from 1980 to 1990, he also helped hire more than half of the
180 full-time faculty members there now - the scholars whose work will influence the
college's standing for years, and who will probably decide his fate." - Patrick
Healy, Boston Globe Staff, June 28, 2001.
"For years, Mount Holyoke professor Joseph 'Full Metal Jacket' Ellis had been
regaling students, interviewers and friends with gripping stories of his service in
Vietnam." - Ann Coulter.
"Why has the Ellis story received so little attention in the mainstream media? Why
does Ellis get out of jail free for an offense that would ruin a physicist or a Republican
congressional leader?" - Dan Ford.
"Ellis was an absolute prize for the folks who dodged military service in the 1960s,
and who now rule the thinking at Mount Holyoke and the New York Times." - Daniel
"For several years Ellis has been using tales from his days as a platoon leader and
paratrooper in Vietnam to help animate his popular course Vietnam War and American
Culture. As his fame increased, Ellis began sharing his war stories with journalists and
colleagues. The problem is that Ellis never served in Vietnam, as the Boston Globe
disclosed last week. He rode out the war doing graduate work at Yale and teaching history
at West Point. " - Josh Tyrangiel.
"Ellis told of seeing a burly comrade reading Emily Dickinson and weeping on the
battlefield." - Josh Tyrangiel.
"Academics, and historians in particular, traditionally think of truth as their
gospel and the classroom as their church." - Josh Tyrangiel.
"Fellow baby boomers speculate that Ellis gave in to a generational tendency to
exaggerate one's part in the great events of the 1960s. " - Josh Tyrangiel.
"In two interviews with the Globe, in 1997 and last year, Ellis said his Vietnam
service was from 1965 to 1966 - well before the My Lai massacre." - Patrick Healy and
Walter V. Robinson in 'Professor apologizes for fabrications' (Boston Globe, 6/19/2001).
"Behind almost every lie there is a wish that the lie was true." - Bella
DePaulo, social psychologist.
"War represents a fierce test of a mans mettle, As Vietnam history is
rewritten, the side you took has become a defining moment." - William Pollack,
professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School in Newsweek, July 2, 2001.
Mount Holyoke College (MHC) Daily Jolt
|"Outside the Mount Holyoke cloister, the solution is obvious
-- fire Ellis. Inside the cloister, there is paranoia about outsiders. From the safety of
their dorm rooms, students are whining about outsiders coming into the Daily Jolt." -
non-student (Guest), Ellis - Sept 5th convocation 8/02, 12:47 pm
critics who come here do so because this is their only forum. They are trying to
communicate. For them, this is not an intellectual issue. This is an emotional issue. They
have paid the price of admission with their blood and their tears. - Daily Jolt
Mount Holyoke Politics on Daily Jolt
Joe Ellis is back
UMASS Prof! - campus memories of Joe Ellis revived by porn writing professor.
Joe Ellis IAW R.B. Johnson
Best Prof -
Prof Joe Ellis
From The Archer - Thanks for the attack! RE: Rongstad quotes himself!
SUCCESS!! When they squeal and attack and call you a loser
you know you really got to them.
RE: Rongstad quotes himself!
Joe Ellis on
wished he could have been here Vietnam photos and message from - "I'm James
Bonded, formerly PhuCatToPhuQuoc, formerly Huggy Bear. You'll be both shaken and stirred,
because I'm licensed to thrill. James, James Bonded."
Snow at MHC
Joe Ellis, how
is he doing? Mt. Holyoke people say Joe Ellis is looking fat.
Wannabes in Australia
Not on my watch
posting on the MHC jolt
Ellis case won't be decided
Allowed in this Topic
Okay - ENOUGH
to Huggy Bear
Are there any smart people
in here - at Smith College.
Daily Jolt no More
"Don't Judge MHC"
Why is Wellesley better than Mt
Steam Gene on Joe
Joe Ellis in NYTimes today
(Aug. 10, 2001).
Did Ellis use the Fonda photos?
How to Start an Online Course on
Question on Joe Ellis and
Starsky and Hutch..
RE: Vets on campus
Vets on campus
Ellis accused of plagiarism
Vietnam Class (Part Two)
Khmer Rouge, Ellis and MHC
- Joe Ellis hired Anthony Lake, soft on Khmer Rouge butchers
Joe Ellis paycheck $135,460
Letter from West Point '65 Vet
from mhc.chat #2
Doonesbury does Ellis
A Letter to MHC's Alumnae
Suggestion for the vets
I am the Huggy Bear
Big Bad Bully
Wolf Obsessive S Mt. Holyoke Forum
Big Bad Wolf
Mt. Holyoke Forum
Anonymous Ellis poster motives
Ellis -- More quotes
Phu Cat's motives?
Ellis - Sept 5th convocation