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WALKING THE PLANK

A Scottish author accused of plagiarism four times before has had his biography of U.S. naval hero John Paul Jones put on hold by the publisher, the New York Times reported today.

"I Have Not Yet Begun to Fight: A Life of John Paul Jones" by James Mackay was due for October release by the Atlantic Monthly Press of Grove/Atlantic Inc. It is a full-length biography of the Scottish-born Jones.

But the publisher has halted publication to check similarities to the last major Jones biography, published in 1959 by the late Samuel Eliot Morison, the Times reported.

Mackay, who has written more than 100 books, denied copying Morison's "John Paul Jones: A Sailor's Biography."

He said the two biographies share similar passages in part because "there are only a certain number of words in the English language."

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