Yesterday, I wrote about how Thomas Nelson removed David Barton’s The Jefferson Lies from publication in late July, 2012. According to philosopher Jay Richards, Barton’s book was investigated by Thomas Nelson and then removed from their catalog several days before anyone reported it publicly. Richards led an effort to gather information to inform Glenn Beck about the historical problems in Barton’s work. Beck, along with other religious conservatives, eventually chose to ignore the evaluations of academic historians in order to preserve Barton’s reputation and influence.
For his part, Barton minimized the devastating critique from various historians. He also said publisher Simon and Schuster was prepared to publish The Jefferson Lies.
After Thomas Nelson dropped the book, The Jefferson Lies was subsequently reviewed and then picked up by Simon & Schuster.
Clearly, Thomas Nelson’s public statements about the reason for pulling the book are incongruous with the above facts, so was there perhaps some other reason behind their announcement? Quite possibly, for only two weeks prior to suddenly dropping The Jefferson Lies, Thomas Nelson had been taken over in an acquisition by Rupert Murdoch and HarperCollins Publishers.6
Thanks to Throckmorton and other critics, The Jefferson Lies will reach a far larger audience through Simon & Schuster than it would have with the Christian publisher Thomas Nelson.
To my knowledge, this claim has never been withdrawn. The rumor that Simon and Schuster was about to publish Barton’s book has been going around since The Jefferson Lies was pulled. Today, I can announce that Simon and Schuster has no plans to publish the book. According to Jennifer Robinson, Vice President and Director of Publicity with Threshold Editions at Simon and Schuster:
There are no plans for Threshold to publish The Jefferson Lies.
Threshold is an imprint of Simon and Schuster which has published books jointly with Mercury Ink, Glenn Beck’s publishing imprint. I wrote Ms. Robinson again to ask if Mercury Ink was going to publish the book and she referred me to Kevin Balfe at Mercury Ink. Balfe has not responded as yet. According to Mercury Ink’s website, Simon and Schuster is a partner in some manner (probably distribution) which led me to ask Ms. Robinson if publication by Mercury Ink could be construed as publication by Simon and Schuster. In her reply, Robinson said I needed to hear from Mercury Ink and added:
S&S is not publishing the book.
If Mercury Ink provides an update, I will add it to this post. For now, according to Simon and Schuster’s representative, there are no plans for them to publish The Jefferson Lies.