One year ago, publisher Thomas Nelson pulled David Barton’s aptly titled book The Jefferson Lies for being wildly inaccurate. But Barton wants you to know it was only a few bad apples complaining about it. On Steve Deace’s radio show he said:
You’ve got about 6,000 universities in America and they found four professors who criticized what I did. Well, 6,000 universities, you probably have 60,000 professors and they found four who didn’t like it.
Warren Throckmorton compiles a partial list of the professors who actually criticized his book. Let’s just say it’s more than four:
Well, we all know who two of them are. But just four? I think he forgot some. Last August, World Magazine reported that Jay Richards assembled 10 Christian professors who expressed a negative response to the book. Then there was Clay Jenkinson, and Martin Marty, and John Fea, and Paul Harvey, and Regent University’s Chuck Dunn, and Greg Forster, and Gregg Frazer. And then there were the 650 voters in the History News Network poll who helped Barton squeak out the Least Credible History Book in Print designation, just beating out Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States.” Then more recently, 34 Christian history and social science professors approached Family Research Council about the Capitol Tour video (which FRC removed from view due to the errors)…
Readers have reminded me of some additional historian/professors who have had negative things to say about The Jefferson Lies. Let’s add Daniel Dreisbach, Kevin Gutzman, and James Stoner, and Miles Mullin and John David Wilsey.
And notice how many of those are evangelical Christians and some, like Dreisbach, an advocate of a slightly different version of the “Christian nation” claim themselves. And even they recognize that Barton distorts history routinely.