As we have noted several dozen times before, David Barton has something of a problem with telling the truth. And we have not been the only ones making note of it, especially since the release of his “The Jefferson Lies” book has prompted Warren Throckmorton and Michael Coulter to write an entire book questioning his claims while other Jefferson scholars have criticized Barton’s shoddy scholarship.
Now it appears that Barton has gotten fed up, as he posted a response to his critics on the WallBuilders website in which he basically says that all his snooty academic critics are just jealous that he has written a bunch of best-selling books while nobody reads their boring works:
I have penned numerous best-selling history works, and characteristic of each is a heavy reliance on primary-source documentation … Not many individuals in America have read more original works (or fewer modern ones) than I have; and the general public has responded enthusiastically to this history based on original documentation… [T]ypical history works by modern elitist professors generally sell very poorly; and seeing their own influence wane, they often lash out and condescendingly criticize the more popular documentary works.
A common mantra for today’s academics is “Publish or die.” Believing that if they are not publishing something new that their academic career is regressing, they therefore regularly “discover” something they believe to be a new revelation on some obscure micropoint of history, and then, as if having received an earth-shattering revelation, write an article or book giving their personal opinions about it. Significantly, however, the public does not respond well to these works, for publishers claim that with few exceptions most academic scholars’ books sell only two hundred or so copies a year.
Barton is particularly angry with those smug “academic elitists” who dare to suggest that he is not an actual historian:
After The Jefferson Lies, rose to a New York Times best-seller, similar attacks were launched against it from academic elitists. I will address three of these attacks below, but first, I must tackle their oft-repeated talking-point that I am not a qualified historian – a claim they make to cast a shadow of doubt over all the facts I present. However, this charge, like their others, is completely false. After all, I am:
- Recognized as an historical expert by both state and federal courts;
- Called to testify as an historical expert by both the federal and state legislatures;
- Selected as an historical expert by State Boards of Education across the nation to assist in writing history and social studies standards for those states;
- Consulted as an historical expert by public school textbook publishers, helping write best-selling history texts used in public schools and universities across the nation.
The funny thing is that it is not only actual historians who don’t consider Barton to be a historian, but Barton himself who just last year blatantly stated – and we quote – “I don’t consider myself a historian; I just happen to know some things about it.”: