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General News    H4'ed 5/2/12

Pseudo-Historian David Barton's New Jefferson Book is a Load of Crap -- and a Bestseller

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Anyone who saw Jon Stewart's interview of Christian nationalist pseudo-historian David Barton on The Daily Show last night probably noticed something missing -- there was almost no discussion about what's actually in Barton's new book, The Jefferson Lies. Instead of talking about the book, Stewart opted for talking about more general topics, and Barton was able to walk away completely unscathed.

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When I first got Barton's book a little over a month ago, I decided to do what I usually do with Barton's crap, and made a video debunking some of the book's many lies. This was when I did not anticipate that Barton's book would become a bestseller and make the leap into the mainstream, climbing to #11 on Amazon and #25 on the New York Times bestsellers list.

After the interview on The Daily Show last night, I feel like I need to put out something today, so I'm posting the video I made when I first got the book. It only debunks the lies in one of the chapters, and is really long, which is why I only posted it on my personal blog after I made it. I had planned to split it into shorter segments before posting it elsewhere, but don't want to spend the time doing that right now because I've changed course and, rather than doing the rest of my debunking of this book via video, I'm quickly writing an actual book debunking Barton's Jefferson book point by point.

My book will be out pretty fast because of the wonders of on-demand printing, but in the meantime, here is my video debunking most of the lies in Barton's chapter about Jefferson and the University of Virginia, which also includes many lies about Jefferson's other educational endeavors.

I apologize for the length of this video, but I hope people will watch at least part of it, or watch it in parts if they don't have time to watch it all in one shot. I don't have the resources to make slick professionally produced videos like the ones Barton is able to put out, so you just have to put up with me sitting at my desk talking to my flip cam, but I trust that most people will listen to the content and ignore the production quality (or complete lack of production quality).

I also have many shorter videos debunking individual Barton lies on my website if anyone wants to watch something that's not as long as this one.

After Stewart's previous interview of Barton last May, I was at such a loss for what to do that I decided just to give away a free PDF version of my book Liars For Jesus: The Religious Right's Alternate Version of American History. This book actually contains the debunkings of a number of the lies used in Barton's new book, and the free PDF is still available here for anyone who wants to read it.

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Chris Rodda is the Senior Research Director for the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), and the author of Liars For Jesus: The Religious Right's Alternate Version of American History.
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