In a photo finish, David Barton’s The Jefferson Lies beat out Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States for the title of “Least Credible History Book in Print” put on by George Mason University’s History News Network.
Readers of the History News Network have voted David Barton’s The Jefferson Lies: Exposing the Myths You’ve Always Believe About Thomas Jefferson the least credible history book in print in a week-long HNN poll. The book edged out Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States by nine votes at the end of polling — 650 votes versus 641. Commenters criticized the book for its gross factual errors and political agenda…
Both books have significant problems but are at opposite ends of the ideological spectrum. Historian John Fea said about the results:
It is fitting that both of these books were so close in the voting. They are both examples of writers using the past for political propaganda. Barton and Zinn are guilty of using history to serve their political activism.
Following the vote, the New York Times weighs in:
In expert commentary solicited by the network, which is hosted by George Mason University, Warren Throckmorton and Michael Coulter, the authors of “Getting Jefferson Right,” denounced Mr. Barton’s “distortions,” writing, “As Jefferson did with the Gospels, Barton chooses what he likes about Jefferson and leaves out the rest to create a result more in line with his ideology.”