Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Warren Throckmorton has more on Metaxas & Barton

Here and here. Here is a taste from the first link:
You remember 2012 right? American University prof and author Jay Richards recruited 10 Christian historians to read David Barton’s book on Thomas Jefferson (The Jefferson Lies, the one just recommended by Metaxas) and then read my book with Michael Coulter Getting Jefferson Right which was a response to Barton’s. Richards asked those scholars to render a verdict about the accuracy of the books and our book came out on top. Do you recall that Thomas Nelson heard from critics of Barton’s book and did their own review? Then after the review by the 10 scholars and the publisher, Thomas Nelson announced that it was pulling the book from the shelves due to historical inaccuracies. Remember that historian Thomas Kidd documented all of this for World magazine? All of that happened.
Jay Richards, I don't believe works for American University, but Catholic University. Daniel Dreisbach works for American University.

That's a minor note of correction. The above passage is important. Most of these historians and right leaning and want to challenge the view in law, history and politics that limits the expression of religion in public life.

Barton is making that side look bad and hurting their credibility.


Art Deco said...

Yes, I recall that Jay Richards, a philosopher associated with Catholic University, recruited (for whatever reason) 10 professors to read David Barton's book, of whom 4 provided written critiques. Of the four, two were out of the literary wing of political science and one is a historian of early modern Europe. Of your political scientists, one has published period work in intellectual history. The others publications consists mostly of working papers on school finance and books which are vaguely pop-sociological. The other historian is actually an Americanist (with his own thesis to flog). Re the committee of four, one supposes Richards thought 'not ideal, but you can work with it'.

Yes, I recall that Warren Throckmorton inveigled Michael Coulter, who has other things to do with his life (e.g articles on John Locke and Catholic Social Teaching), to help him produce and promote a self-published book on the work of a trade-book author from Texas who's unknown outside the evangelical book buying market. (I also recall that said book is not on Dr. Coulter's curriculum vitae).

If you're not inclined to relive Prof. Throckmorton's greatest hits, why would you be reminiscing?

Jonathan Rowe said...

You really seem to get off on this credentialing specialization thing. We know David Barton has no bona fides as a credentialed historian. Perhaps if he did, he wouldn't have made the bone headed errors he has.

But the lack of credential is not why he gets attacked. He's attacked for his errors. And plenty of "armchair" folks (not that any of Richards' folks count as "armchair") can properly engage the subject matter without making the errors. They just have to be careful in how they learn the trade and present their cases.

Art Deco said...

You really seem to get off on this credentialing specialization thing.


I'm not the one recruiting professors to provide book reviews. If Jay Richards and Warren Throckmorton weren't concerned with 'credentials', they'd have paid a piece-rate to 10 randomly selected BOMC members and neither they nor you would be chuffering about the antecedent affiliations (political, religious, institutional) of anyone critiquing David Barton.

You can ask your lawyer to read these books and comment on them, or your dentist. You'll get the opinion of a man smart enough to pass the bar exam or the dental licensing exams who may have some helpful liberal education in evaluating them. That's what you get when Glenn Sunshine and Jay Richards read these books, bar that more of what Richards does every day incorporates sytopical reading than what your dentist does. There's nothing wrong with getting opinions; they're just not as authoritative as you pretend they are.

Recall in this context that Dr. Paul Zummo, who actually is a Jefferson and Madison scholar, offered one critical review of Barton's book and moved on to his next subject. He hasn't spent the last four years re-running the tape. He has a life.

Tom Van Dyke said...

If you're not inclined to relive Prof. Throckmorton's greatest hits, why would you be reminiscing?

I know, it's painful. Like Captain Queeg reliving his greatest victory, finding the missing strawberries.

And once again we fulfill the American Creation Godwin's Law--inevitably, everything comes back to either slavery or David Barton.