Christian, Non-Historian David Barton Attacks Historians Who Discredit His Book

| by Michael Allen

Conservative Christian advocate and Wallbuilders founder David Barton is infamous for claiming false historical facts, such as the constitution was lifted directly from the bible.

His recent book 'The Jefferson Lies' has been criticized by Jefferson scholars over shoddy scholarship, including Barton's claim that Jefferson, who owned slaves, was actually a strong advocate against slavery.

Barton recently posted a response on his WallBuilders website, slamming his critics on the basis that he sells more books than they do:

I have penned numerous best-selling history works, and characteristic of each is a heavy reliance on primary-source documentation ... Not many individuals in America have read more original works (or fewer modern ones) than I have; and the general public has responded enthusiastically to this history based on original documentation... [T]ypical history works by modern elitist professors generally sell very poorly; and seeing their own influence wane, they often lash out and condescendingly criticize the more popular documentary works.

...significantly, however, the public does not respond well to these works, for publishers claim that with few exceptions most academic scholars’ books sell only two hundred or so copies a year.

After The Jefferson Lies, rose to a New York Times best-seller, similar attacks were launched against it from academic elitists. I will address three of these attacks below, but first, I must tackle their oft-repeated talking-point that I am not a qualified historian – a claim they make to cast a shadow of doubt over all the facts I present. However, this charge, like their others, is completely false. After all, I am:

Recognized as an historical expert by both state and federal courts;

Called to testify as an historical expert by both the federal and state legislatures;

Selected as an historical expert by State Boards of Education across the nation to assist in writing history and social studies standards for those states;

Consulted as an historical expert by public school textbook publishers, helping write best-selling history texts used in public schools and universities across the nation

However, Barton himself admitted that he is not a historian: