Nelson Pulls 'The Jefferson Lies' for Historical Errors

The Jefferson Lies
The Jefferson Lies
Thomas Nelson has pulled a controversial best-seller by influential evangelical leader David Barton because the book contains historical errors.

With a foreword by Glenn Beck and released in April, The Jefferson Lies claims to expose common myths about Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence and the nation's third president.

However, a group of conservative scholars claimed that Barton's take on Jefferson was factually incorrect. Additionally, a group of Cincinnati ministers called on Nelson to cancel the book, The Tennessean reported.

Casey Harrell, director of corporate communications for Thomas Nelson, said The Jefferson Lies was pulled at the end of July.

"The company was contacted by a number of people expressing concerns about the book, which we took very seriously," she said. "The company tried to sort out matters of opinion or interpretation, and in the course of our review learned that there were some historical details included in the book that were not adequately supported. Because of these deficiencies we decided that it was in the best interest of our readers to cease publication and distribution."

The Jefferson Lies is still available at Amazon.com and other Internet sites, but online retailers have been asked to stop selling the e-book version, The Tennessean reported.

"We are not releasing specifically how many people expressed concerns—only that there were several who expressed concerns about the historical accuracy of the book," Harrell told Christian Retailing. "We are not releasing any additional information other than the publishing relationship has ceased and between Thomas Nelson and Mr. Barton, and we do not expect to publish his works in the future."

Named by Time magazine as one of the 25 most influential American evangelicals in 2005, Barton has defended The Jefferson Lies, citing Nelson never mentioned any concerns about the book, which made the New York Times best-seller list after its release.

"For those who may have been influenced by seeing a negative critique of The Jefferson Lies, I urge you to read the book yourself, examine its 756 footnotes and allow Jefferson to speak on his own behalf," he wrote on his WallBuilders website. "I predict that if you do, you will be persuaded by the abundance of primary source documentation and will quickly see through the shallow motives behind the critics' self-serving and disingenuous attacks."

A graduate of Oral Roberts University, Barton is the founder and president of WallBuilders, a pro-family organization that presents America's history and heroes—with an emphasis on its moral, religious and constitutional heritage.


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