Barton Revises History of His Own Revisionism

Barton Revises History of His Own Revisionism July 26, 2013

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.

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  • oranje

    10 professors per university?

  • sigurd jorsalfar

    Historiographers who want to understand how ancient historians were capable of lying to promote an agenda should study this book. Beyond that it might be suitable for propping up a wobbly desk or wrapping fish.

  • sigurd jorsalfar

    @1 Maybe he means 10 professors per university in the field. But that’s a big maybe. He seems perfectly capable of me to be claiming that because professors of dentistry and architecture and fine arts, etc haven’t been found to condemn his book they must be endorsing it. 3 out of 5 dentists surveyed recommended Barton’s book to their patients who chew books.

  • blf

    Barton probably means he found found four professors who do not think he and his book are an insult to well-rotted shite.

  • sigurd jorsalfar

    @4 I was just thinking that maybe Barton means he found 4 professors who gave him the same ringing endorsement for his book as Alan Tarica received for his work on Shakespeare’s Sonnets, as featured in a recent PZ Myers post.

  • a miasma of incandescent plasma

    Oh great, now I don’t believe anymore that there are 6,000 universities in the US.

  • alanb


    $4.95 today only! Most controversial, politically incorrect book of the year

    – WorldNetDaily

    Wow! Sounds really exciting.

  • kantalope

    OAH (Organization of American Historians: says they have more than 7800 members. I imagine that the only reason most of them have not condemned ‘Lies’ is that no one has asked them yet.

  • sigurd jorsalfar

    @8 I’m still laughing at the idea that he thinks 60,000 professors have even read his book.

  • kantalope

    Sure they are passing that book around like pre-teen girls passing around Judy Blume. (giddygiggles)

  • zenlike

    Most controversial, politically incorrect book of the year

    Nowadays, when I ready somewhere the words ‘politically incorrect’, I mentally strike through the word ‘politically’. Most of the time that gives a fairly accurate description of the viewpoints alleged to be ‘politically incorrect’.

  • John Hinkle

    In defense of Barton, recall he didn’t know how many professors in that room thought his book was a work of art. Likewise, he doesn’t know how many professors outside that room think his book is a work of junk.

  • Loqi

    There wasn’t a single person on the planet who criticized the tacos I made for dinner last night. Not even four professors. That must mean that billions of people thought they were good.

  • Chiroptera

    Barton has a point. I mean, how many history professors could have even made it to the end of chapter 1?

  • jnorris

    I am reminded of two comments, one by Mark Twain and the other by Prof Einstein. Mr Twain always lamented the lack of good liars in his time. Mr Barton is a lousy liar. He only gets away with it because his audience is too lazy to fact-check him.

    Prof Einstein commented about the Nazi rebuttals of his Theory of Relativity. The Nazis published hundreds of rebuttals. Einstein said if the theory was wrong only one rebuttal would be enough to destroy it.

    Also, I’ve noticed that Mr Barton never seems to produce any evidence that his critics, no matter how few or many, are wrong. He is a pathetic little man who can only survive by deceiving gullible people.

  • oranje “10 professors per university?”

    1. They’re metric, on account of all that European Socialism.

    2. Central Planning mandates that each university has ten and only ten professors.


    sigurd jorsalfar “@1 Maybe he means 10 professors per university in the field.”

    Who the hell would open a university in a field?


    jnorris “He is a pathetic little man who can only survive by deceiving gullible people.”

    He’s not deceiving them. He’s supporting them. With Truth®. And everybody knows that the best, most pure kind of Truth® comes from ignoring facts that rebut your thesis.

  • Taz

    I still think The Daily Show owes a public apology for giving this idiot credibility.

  • dogmeat

    10 professors per university?

    To be honest, I was thinking 60,000 was a bit high. If you consider the history departments, then those profs who specialize in US history, then those who concentrate in early American history…

    I’m not a prof, but I’m in the field. I haven’t taught US history in a number of years, if I was only teaching European history, I’d be highly unlikely to read the book despite the fact that my specialty was, way back in grad school, that early US period.

  • raven

    Oh great, now I don’t believe anymore that there are 6,000 universities in the US.

    Yeah, I know how that goes.

    I’m having a hard time believing David Barton’s real name is…David Barton.

  • sigurd jorsalfar

    @16 Look up the etymology of the word ‘campus’.

  • sigurd jorsalfar, everybody knows that Latin is full of shit. Anyone stupid enough to buy that malarky, well, caveat emptor.