A best-selling book is getting boxed up and returned to the publisher after complaints of historical inaccuracies.
Publisher Thomas Nelson has withdrawn 'The Jefferson Lies" after a lengthy review found the author, David Barton, had included "historical details that were not adequately supported," said Brian Hampton, a senior vice president and publisher for Thomas Nelson.
Hampton said the move was "extremely rare" and he could not recall a time in the publisher's history when it had recalled a book in this manner. "We're disappointed for everyone concerned," Hampton said.
Barton is the founder and president of the Texas-based WallBuilders, a group that describes itself as "dedicated to presenting America's forgotten history and heroes, with an emphasis on the moral, religious and constitutional foundation on which America was built -- a foundation which, in recent years, has been seriously attacked and undermined," according to its website.
"The Jefferson Lies: Exposing the Myths You've Always Believed About Thomas Jefferson," was published in April. In it Barton attempted to dispel the popular notion that Thomas Jefferson was a secular politician who pioneered the idea of strict church-state separation.
It was Barton's first book with Thomas Nelson and was released to great expectations. By May 13, 2012, the book landed on The New York Times Best-Sellers list.
But even before the book was published, Hampton said Thomas Nelson began receiving complaints.
"First concerns came our way from people who hadn't read the book," he said. The publisher thought the complaints were from people on the opposite ideological spectrum from Barton, a conservative political star who has long billed himself as an evangelical historian.
"We still took them seriously and began a review process," Hampton said. Despite the complaints, the book still went to press.
As Thomas Nelson was conducting its own review, so were academics.