Where's That Simon & Schuster Edition of "The Jefferson Lies" David Barton Promised?
Chris Rodda printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 03:10:53 PM EST
Exactly one year ago today, on August 9, 2012, Christian publisher Thomas Nelson took the virtually unprecedented action of pulling one of its books from publication due to the book's many inaccuracies. That book, of course, was David Barton's The Jefferson Lies.

There were several factors that presumably contributed to Thomas Nelson's decision to take the drastic action of pulling Barton's book from the shelves. One of these factors was that the criticism of The Jefferson Lies was coming from a different source than the usual Barton critics. Shortly after the book was released, Warren Throckmorton and Michael Coulter, both professors at a Christian college, published a rebuttal of Barton's book titled Getting Jefferson Right. Throckmorton and Coulter's book contained little new material, with most of the lies it debunked having previously been debunked by both myself and others, but there was one big difference. Throckmorton and Coulter are evangelical Christians. So is John Fea, an associate professor of history and department chair at Messiah College, who also heavily criticized Barton's book. The criticism coming from Christian as well as secularist writers made it difficult for anyone to use the usual excuse that Barton's critics are just a bunch of anti-Christian secularists trying to obliterate the "truth" about America's Christian history.

Another contributing factor was likely the widely publicized reader poll conducted The History News Network in July 2012 to find the "least credible history book in print." The winner of this dubious distinction was, of course, Barton's The Jefferson Lies.

But, if the timing of events is any indicator, the straw that seems to have broken Thomas Nelson's back seems to have been the threatened boycott of their company by a coalition of Christian ministers in Ohio. The criticism by Throckmorton, Coulter, and Fea had come in May, the month after The Jefferson Lies was published. The HNN poll had made news in July. But Thomas Nelson continued to sell Barton's book. Then, on August 1, a group of Ohio pastors held a press conference at Cincinnati's New Jerusalem Baptist Church threatening to boycott Thomas Nelson over the book's whitewashing of the issue of Thomas Jefferson and slavery. (Among other things, Barton's book glosses over Jefferson's racism and ownership of slaves, claiming that although Jefferson owned hundreds of slaves, he was really an advocate for civil rights who was not a racist and considered blacks to be completely equal to whites.)

On August 1, these Ohio pastors, who had read an advance copy of the book and had unsuccessfully asked to meet with Thomas Nelson before it released, held a press conference announcing their boycott. Eight days later, on August 9, Thomas Nelson pulled The Jefferson Lies, having suddenly "lost confidence in the book's details."

In his scramble to save face with his followers, Barton quickly responded to his book being pulled with all sorts of excuses: It was because Thomas Nelson had succumbed to political pressure and abandoned its principles; it was because secular publisher HarperCollins had bought Thomas Nelson; it was because Thomas Nelson had edited 20,000 crucial words out of his original manuscript that would clear up everything. it was anything except the fact that his book full of inaccurate history and lies. And his followers bought it hook, line, and sinker. It's now a year later, and Barton is just as popular, if not more popular, as he was before his book was pulled.

But the boldest claim by far that Barton made in the wake of Thomas Nelson pulling his book, which is the main thing I want to get to in this piece, was that the book had already been picked up by an even bigger publisher (Thomas Nelson is the one of the largest American trade publishers and the world's largest Christian publisher), and that this even bigger publisher would be publishing a new edition in which the 20,000 words edited out by Thomas Nelson would be restored. And who did Barton reveal this alleged bigger publisher to be? Simon & Schuster!

In an article posted on his WallBuilders.com website in February of this year, Barton stated this in three places that Simon & Schuster had picked up the book, writing: "After Thomas Nelson dropped the book, The Jefferson Lies was subsequently reviewed and then picked up by Simon & Schuster," "The Jefferson Lies will reach a far larger audience through Simon & Schuster than it would have with the Christian publisher Thomas Nelson," and that the book "will be released by Simon & Schuster in 2013."

Is this claim true? Is Simon & Schuster really going to republish a book that was dumped by another major publisher because of its inaccuracy? That doesn't seem very likely, does it? So what would lead Barton to think he could get away with making such a claim?

Enter Glenn Beck.

As anyone who keeps up with Barton's shenanigans knows, in 2010 Beck and Barton became joined at the hip, with Barton becoming Beck's resident historian, making numerous appearances on Beck's old Fox News show and becoming the history "professor" at the online pseudo-educational institution, Beck University. (For those who aren't familiar with the Beck-Barton partnership, there is a series of videos and links to the pieces I wrote accompanying those videos on the homepage of my website.)

The Beck-Barton partnership didn't end when Beck's show on Fox was cancelled. Barton continued to appear regularly on Beck's online GBTV show, which, by the way, has now been expanded into an entire TV channel called The Blaze, which is not only available online but recently became a regular cable TV channel. Yes, Beck not only has a TV show again; he has a whole TV channel.

But getting back to what all this Beck stuff has to do with Barton's claim that Simon & Schuster has picked up The Jefferson Lies and is publishing a new edition, Glenn Beck did say on his August 16, 2012 GBTV show that his Mercury Ink publishing company intended to republish Barton's book, and Beck's Mercury Ink does have some sort of publishing partnership with Simon & Schuster. But does Beck's company republishing Barton's book mean the same thing as Simon & Schuster republishing it, or is this just one of those one-plus-one-equals-three stretches of the truth that Barton is so well known for?

So, I hereby challenge Mr. Barton to answer the question: Where is that Simon & Schuster edition of The Jefferson Lies that you've been promising?

Barton on a hot tin roof finds safe haven with Glenn Beck. Today I heard him and his crew lambasting the authors of "The Jefferson Truths." Of course without them present. Little likelihood of them being invited on that show. Beck isn't about truth, only the Reich Wing Christian Truth he and the others support.

by Nightgaunt on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 09:13:50 PM EST

WWW Talk To Action

The Sour Grapes Of Wrath: Tenn. County Politician Seeks To Stave Off God's Vengeance
It has become a cliché to say that you spotted an article online that was so strange you first assumed it was from The......
By Rob Boston (3 comments)
The Catholic Right Star and the Porn Star -- Revised and Updated
An international network of some of the world’s most vitriolic Religious Right activists and self-proclaimed orthodox religious leaders is holding its ninth global conference......
By Frederick Clarkson (6 comments)
Banned In Boston (And Elsewhere): The American Tragedy Of Censorship
When I was kid, the phrase "Banned in Boston" confused me. I thought of Boston as a liberal, cosmopolitan city. Surely they didn't censor......
By Rob Boston (2 comments)
Bill Donohue Mum While Andrew Napolitano Calls Pope Francis "A False Prophet"
Catholic League president Bill Donohue goes after anyone he believes is engaging in anti-Catholic behavior, real or imagined. But as we have come to......
By Frank Cocozzelli (2 comments)
A Decade Of Disgrace: Marking Ten Years Of The `Values Voter Summit'
The annual Values Voter Summit (VVS), the nation's largest gathering of the Religious Right, begins today. The event, sponsored by the Family Research Council......
By Rob Boston (2 comments)
Looking Beyond the Francis Frenzy
Much has been and will be written about the Pope regarding his historic visit to the U.S.  But it will be important to try......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Barton Bounces Back: Religious Right Purveyor Of Ersatz History Still Going Strong
Three years ago, Religious Right phony historian David Barton published a ridiculous book called The Jefferson Lies that argued, in part, that Thomas Jefferson......
By Rob Boston (4 comments)
The Papal Visit Brings Forth Ugliness From the Right
In a recent press release, Catholic League president Bill Donohue warned, "Pope Visits To U.S. Occasion Ugliness." Donohue then went on to describe the......
By Frank Cocozzelli (3 comments)
Coercion In Kansas?: State Worker Claims She Was Fired For Non-Attendance At Christian Service
Let's say some people at a company want to get together during lunch hour and hold a Bible study. It's totally voluntary, and they......
By Rob Boston (4 comments)
Kim Davis and Southern Civil Disobedience
Kim Davis, the county official who refused to grant marriage licenses, fits the profile of a long line of civil disobedience from the South.......
By wilkyjr (2 comments)
An Anti-Theocratic, Progressive Christian Leader
I recently posted a short excerpt here, from an interview I published with Rev. Dr. John Dorhauer, the new General Minister and President of......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Litany Of Lies: FRC's Perkins Packs An Email With Copious Falsehoods
I realize that people may be tired of reading about the saga of Kim Davis, the Rowan County, Ky., clerk who is in jail......
By Rob Boston (6 comments)
Kim Davis is No Jack Kennedy
Kim Davis, the embattled Kentucky county clerk who sits in jail for defying a Federal Court order to issue marriage licenses to everyone who......
By Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Book Report: Yes, Politicians, We Know You Love The Bible. What Else Have You Read?
Real estate magnate Donald Trump says lots of outrageous stuff, but none of it seems to slow him down. His latest gaffe, however, ought......
By Rob Boston (3 comments)
American Renewal Project
On my journey to the American Renewal Project in Austin, Texas, I listened to hard right talk radio out of Houston.  There was an......
By wilkyjr (7 comments)

Evidence violence is more common than believed
Think I've been making things up about experiencing Christian Terrorism or exaggerating, or that it was an isolated incident?  I suggest you read this article (linked below in body), which is about our great......
ArchaeoBob (2 comments)
Central Florida Sheriff Preached Sermon in Uniform
If anyone has been following the craziness in Polk County Florida, they know that some really strange and troubling things have happened here.  We've had multiple separation of church and state lawsuits going at......
ArchaeoBob (1 comment)
Demon Mammon?
An anthropologist from outer space might be forgiven for concluding that the god of this world is Mammon. (Or, rather, The Market, as depicted by John McMurtry in his book The Cancer Stage of......
daerie (0 comments)
Anti-Sharia Fever in Texas: This is How It Starts
The mayor of a mid-size Texan city has emerged in recent months as the newest face of Islamophobia. Aligning herself with extremists hostile to Islam, Mayor Beth Van Duyne of Irving, Texas has helped......
JSanford (2 comments)
Evangelicals Seduced By Ayn Rand Worship Crypto-Satanism, Suggest Scholars
[update: also see my closely related stories, "Crypto-Cultists" and "Cranks": The Video Paul Ryan Hoped Would Go Away, and The Paul Ryan/Ayn Rand/Satanism Connection Made Simple] "I give people Ayn Rand with trappings" -......
Bruce Wilson (10 comments)
Ted Cruz Anointed By Pastor Who Says Jesus Opposed Minimum Wage, and Constitution Based on the Bible
In the video below, from a July 19-20th, 2013 pastor's rally at a Marriott Hotel in Des Moines, Iowa, Tea Party potentate Ted Cruz is blessed by religious right leader David Barton, who claims......
Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
Galt and God: Ayn Randians and Christian Rightists Expand Ties
Ayn Rand's followers find themselves sharing a lot of common ground with the Christian Right these days. The Tea Party, with its stress on righteous liberty and a robust form of capitalism, has been......
JSanford (2 comments)
Witchhunts in Africa and the U.S.A.
Nigerian human rights activist Leo Igwe has recently written at least two blog posts about how some African Pentecostal churches are sending missionaries to Europe and the U.S.A. in an attempt to "re-evangelize the......
Diane Vera (2 comments)
Charles Taze Russell and John Hagee
No doubt exists that Texas mega-church Pastor John Hagee would be loathe to be associated with the theology of Pastor C.T. Russell (wrongly credited with founding the Jehovah's Witnesses) but their theological orbits, while......
COinMS (0 comments)
A death among the common people ... imagination.
Or maybe my title would better fit as “Laws, Books, where to find, and the people who trust them.”What a society we've become!The wise ones tell us over and over how the more things......
Arthur Ruger (0 comments)
Deconstructing the Dominionists, Part VI
This is part 6 of a series by guest front pager Mahanoy, originally dated November 15, 2007 which I had to delete and repost for technical reasons. It is referred to in this post,......
Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Republican infighting in Mississippi
After a bruising GOP runoff election for U.S. Senator, current MS Senator Thad Cochran has retained his position and will face Travis Childers (Democrat) in the next senate election. The MS GOP is fractured......
COinMS (3 comments)
America's Most Convenient Bank® refuses to serve Christians
Representatives of a well known faith-based charitable organization were refused a New Jersey bank’s notarization service by an atheist employee. After inquiring about the nature of the non-profit organization and the documents requiring......
Jody Lane (4 comments)
John Benefiel takes credit for GOP takeover of Oklahoma
Many of you know that Oklahoma has turned an unrecognizable shade of red in recent years.  Yesterday, one of the leading members of the New Apostolic Reformation all but declared that he was responsible......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
John Benefiel thinks America is under curse because Egyptians dedicated North America to Baal
You may remember that Rick Perry put together his "Response" prayer rallies with the help of a slew of NAR figures.  One of them was John Benefiel, an Oklahoma City-based "apostle."  He heads up......
Christian Dem in NC (5 comments)

More Diaries...

All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.