Friday, April 6, 2012

Lying About the Past



Probably would have made for a better April 1 lead-in post, but sadly there are a lot of folks taking David Barton seriously.  He is popping up everywhere these days.  Here he is from last May using The Daily Show to spread his views.  Barton is apparently the one responsible for all those bogus founding fathers quotes being spread over Facebook and other Internet sharing websites.  When called on these unconfirmed quotations, Barton said in his defense that they were "consistent" with the "views" of the Founding Fathers.  His recent book on Jefferson is garnering a lot of attention.  An historian tries to sum up the Barton Factor, after watching the interview with Jon Stewart.  This sounds like the Dunning School all over again.

14 comments:

  1. This is Orwellian in the extreme. "Exposing the Myths" by creating new ones.

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  2. Hopefully, he will go the way of Erich von Daniken.

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  3. I posted a review at amazon, http://www.amazon.com/The-Jefferson-Lies-Exposing-Believed/dp/1595554599/ref=cm_cr-mr-title, under James Ferguson, and to my surprise it has gotten mostly favorably hits. You can find out Barton's views through his website. But, what worries me is that a book like this is generating so much interest.

    It is #3 in American history sales at amazon. I'm sure it is conservative block buying, but nevertheless it is an inordinate amount of sales for what is a piece of tripe.

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  4. Seems the Bartonites are now out in full force, spamming my review with their posts. I've made a few rebuttals, but it amazes me how much stock persons are putting in the "Jefferson Bible." This was something he did for himself and shared with close friends, yet to read Barton, Jefferson wanted to disseminate this Bible among the Indians, referring to an offhand comment by his great-grand daughter, Sarah, in 1895, the year the condensed "Bible" was eventually published.

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  5. If you're curious, someone was kind enough to post the first two chapters in Google Books,

    http://books.google.lt/books?id=Illk_AVwywEC&pg=PT6&lpg=PT6&dq=david+barton+use+of+footnotes&source=bl&ots=IB7hE4ti11&sig=szRql01KV-uup8TVzE7JlaNyVzc&hl=lt&sa=X&ei=dXyVT6WwFYPZtAaelNWkBA&sqi=2&ved=0CEMQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=david%20barton%20use%20of%20footnotes&f=false

    Barton's chapter (Lie #2) on the founding of UVA is a real doozy. I think old Tom would have gotten a big chuckle out of this one.

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  6. I never would have imagined that my review for this silly book would generate nearly 500 helpful hits and over 160 comments. I figured my negative review would have ended up at the bottom of the pile, yet it remains on the lead page. I found out more about the "Jefferson Bible" than I cared to know.

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  7. I see that Chris Rodda has gone through the painstaking process of sorting out the lies by the religious right regarding the founding of America and its "fathers,"

    http://books.google.lt/books?id=TJoANNZGtfUC&pg=PP1&dq=Liars+For+Jesus:+The+Religious+Right%27s+Alternate+Version+of+American+History+Vol.+1&hl=en&sa=X&ei=28m0T5b-M47CtAaF8PXjAg&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=Liars%20For%20Jesus%3A%20The%20Religious%20Right's%20Alternate%20Version%20of%20American%20History%20Vol.%201&f=false

    excellent chapter on the Northwest Ordinance.

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  8. You're probably the only sane voice out there! And the only one willing to even look at something like this. I can't even bring myself to look at the chapters you linked.

    Have you ever thought of doing this professionally? You would be a great reviewer.

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  9. I've thought about it, but don't know where to look. Any suggestions?

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  10. I would go to the book editors of those reviews you read and send them a query.

    You might want to start with a current book or two most closely aligned with your background (say architectural history or something relevant/current to Lithuania and environs -- that's a real advantage you have) and go from there.

    The other strategic option would be to go with professional journals first, and then use those as part of your portfolio. They are always looking for book reviewers. You could easily do three or four reviews in different venues to get started. I think it's a great idea.

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  11. Thanks av. Will send out some inquiries. I just have to carve out time to read more books. Not enough hours in the day. Of course, if I get paid for it that's a different story ; )

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  12. I think you should try! Journals don't pay, but they are a good way to get started. And just go with the books you are reading anyway. For example, I approached a western history journal to review the Brinkley book on TR which they carried in the next issue. Sometimes it takes awhile, but they are always looking for reviewers.

    I also volunteered once to review Obama's book, for a special journal issue on religion and politics, but didn't get that one ...!

    Are you on H-Net? They often send out queries looking for reviewers.

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  13. No, but will do so. Thanks again, av. Found this interesting site through one of the links I posted earlier,

    http://usreligion.blogspot.com/

    Seems even tempered. Sent my thoughts on Barton to the blog editor.

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