The Jefferson Lies: Exposing the Myths You've Always Believed About Thomas Jefferson
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The American public was nearly deprived of the opportunity to read this book.
In 2012 popular historian David Barton set out to correct what he saw as the distorted image of a once-beloved Founding Father, Thomas Jefferson, in what became a New York Times best-selling book, The Jefferson Lies.
Despite the wildly popular success of the original hardcover edition, or perhaps because of it, a campaign to discredit Barton s scholarship was launched by bloggers and a handful of non-historian academics.
What happened next was shocking virtually unprecedented in modern American publishing history. Under siege from critics, the publisher spiked the book and recalled it from the retail shelves from coast to coast. The Jefferson Lies is thus a history book that made history becoming possibly the first book of its kind to be victimized by the scourge of political correctness.
But more than three years later, it s back as an updated paperback edition in which Barton sets the record straight and takes on the critics who savaged his work.
And that s just part of the story. Why did this book spark so much controversy?
It could only happen in an America that has forgotten its past. Its roots, its purpose, its identity all have become shrouded behind a veil of political correctness bent on twisting the nation's founding, and its Founders, beyond recognition.
The time has come to remember again.
This new paperback edition of The Jefferson Lies re-documents Barton's research and conclusions as sound and his premises true. It tackles seven myths about Thomas Jefferson head-on, and answers pressing questions about this incredible statesman including:
Did Thomas Jefferson really have a child by his young slave girl, Sally Hemings?
Did he write his own Bible, excluding the parts of Christianity with which he disagreed?
Was he a racist who opposed civil rights and equality for black Americans?
Did he, in his pursuit of separation of church and state, advocate the secularizing of public life?
Through Jefferson's own words and the eyewitness testimony of contemporaries, Barton repaints a portrait of the man from Monticello as a visionary, an innovator, a man who revered Jesus, a classical Renaissance man, and a man whose pioneering stand for liberty and God-given inalienable rights fostered a better world for this nation and its posterity. For America, the time to remember these truths is now.
instructing him not only about the importance of character (“give up science, give the earth itself and all it contains, rather than do an immoral act”103) but also about diligently pursuing the study of history, philosophy, and poetry. He especially recommended that Peter read: Virgil, Terence, Horace, Anacreon, Theocritus, Homer; read also Milton’s Paradise Lost, Shakespeare, Ossian, Pope’s and Swift’s works, in order to form your style in your own language. In morality, read Epictetus,
classes since the 1960s will retort, “Yeah, he may have done some of those things, but he was also a racist and a bigot—a slaveholder. And he slept with his fourteen-year-old slave Sally Hemings and made her pregnant. And he hated religion so much that he founded the first secular university in America, even writing his own Bible from which he cut out scriptures with which he disagreed.” Why can today’s Americans list so many negatives about Jefferson but so few positives? The answer is found
and it will find a respectable minority ready to adopt it in practice.”17 Regarding the Northern colonies, Jefferson explained: Northward of the Chesapeake, you may find here and there an opponent to your doctrine as you may find here and there a robber and murderer, but in no greater number. In that part of America, there being but few slaves, they can easily disencumber themselves of them; and emancipation is put into such a train that in a few years there will be no slave northward of
decried the corruption of the modern Christian church and wanted to revive an earlier and simpler version of Christianity. This movement became known as Christian Primitivism or the Restoration Movement, and it developed from four primary leaders. One was Presbyterian minister Barton Stone of Kentucky, who led the famous Cane Ridge revival. He called for an end to denominations and advocated that Christians have no creed but the Bible. He therefore used only the simple descriptive title
Jefferson (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1984), 189. 35. Jefferson, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, ed. Lipscomb, 15:2. 36. Malone, Jefferson the President, First Term 1801–1805, 4:205. 37. John Maclean, History of the College of New Jersey, from Its Origin in 1746 to the Commencement of 1854, vol. 1 (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co., 1877), 364–365. 38. John Witherspoon, “Lectures on Moral Philosophy,” in The Works of John Witherspoon, vol. 3 (Philadelphia: William W.