Thursday, August 9, 2012

Book Review: The Jefferson Lies by David Barton

Last January I made a goal to read twelve nonfiction books this year. I'm on my sixth book, but I need to step up my efforts if I'm going reach my goal.

I thought today I'd tell you about one of the books I've read, The Jefferson Lies: Exposing the Myths You've Always Believed About Thomas Jefferson by David Barton.

This book exposes lies that we've heard and have come to believe as true with tons of footnotes (23 pages front and back, single spaced) that refer to well respected sources. I have long been a fan of the author, David Barton, who is the founder and president of WallBuilders, a national, profamily organization that presents America's forgotten history and heroes with emphasis on our moral, religious, and constitutional heritage.

I attended a lecture once where Barton named every person in the famous painting of the signing of the constitution.

Not only that, he was able to say what the man believed and why he was there. Barton's knowledge is amazing.

So I expected big things from The Jefferson Lies. I wasn't disappointed.

To expose the lies told about our third president, Barton explores five fallacies of logic: deconstructionism, poststructuralism, modernism, minimalism, and academic collectivism. Talk about a lot of isms. I don't know about you, but when professors in school used to explain such subjects I'd tune out. But because I wanted to learn the truth, I needed to know how misconceptions developed about Jefferson and why. To do that it was important to understand each fallacy.

After the reader learns about the fallacies, Barton then takes on the lies that have been spread about this very noble and misunderstood man, Thomas Jefferson.

Here are some of the lies exposed in this book: that Jefferson fathered a child with a slave girl, that he was an anti-Christian secularist, and that he was a racist. Barton debunks all of those claims and more with well-documented research that even includes some of Jefferson's own words and testimonies of his contemporaries.

Thomas Jefferson truly was an American hero who stood for liberty and God-given inalienable rights.

Who was your favorite founding father? Jefferson is right at the top of my list, but he's not my favorite. Guess who it is?  



  1. Does Benjamin Franklin count as a founding father? Because even if he doesn't, he's definitely my favorite person from that era. :-)

    1. Misha,
      Benjamin Franklin does count, bit time, as a founding father. He's one of my favorites as well.

  2. must admit I don't read anything about American presidents, but I do adore everything historical not just in reading, but also in film and TV, and even in my job as a book translator I almost always translate historical books :)

    1. History is really amazing and very eye-opening, especially when you learn something new. Translating historical sounds fascinating.



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