Many of you may remember that several weeks ago I wrote a post, HNN / Least Credible Book, which discussed briefly my opinion on materials being published that were just flat-out wrong. There was also a link to an ongoing poll where readers were to vote on a list of “least creditable books” on the History News Now website. As it turns out, the winner was The Jefferson Lies, by David Barton. So I was less than shocked when I heard the publisher recently pulled the book.  Well I was a little shocked. I have not read this book myself but generally any time that the entire historical community condemns a book, it is a bad sign. Pulling a book, especially one as successful as this one, is very uncommon. Publisher Brian Hampton said,
“The truth is, the withdrawing a book from the market is extremely rare. It’s so rare I can’t think of the last time we’ve done this,” Hampton said. But, he said, “If there are matters of fact not correctly handled or the basic truth is not there, we would make a decision based on that.”
It is refreshing to see a corporation do the right thing. I am glad that this particular book has been pulled. Now if we could recall the majority of history textbooks, the historical community would be a happier group.
I received a book the other day from a friend entitled Contrary to Popular Belief, by Joey Green. It advertises that is has “more than two hundred bits of conventional ‘wisdom’ that are complete bunk.” In reading through it, I have found a lot of the information to be true. (Some I knew, some I didn’t.) Below is an excerpt from the book.
As my name is Grant, I know a little more than the average person about Ulysses S. Grant. Yes, I was aware that his name was Hiram Ulysses Grant. My initials spell GO, so I also made the connection that his initials spelled HUG. So why bring this up? Unless the author of this book knows something that I don’t (nor Wikipedia or Whitehouse.org), President Grant was not the “seventeeth”[sic] president of the United States. So yes, thank you for clearing up any confusion about who the real seventeenth president was. Thank you for stating the obvious.
Not only do they imply that he was the seventeenth president of the United States, but the publisher and author couldn’t even spell seventeenth correctly. Unless President Grant only had seven teeth, then maybe it is just a nickname. Last time I checked his nickname was Unconditional Surrender Grant, so this is probably not the case. It amazes me what is published these days.
While this book has and will give me ideas, these “facts” will be taken with a grain of salt. I definitely cannot use this as my only source. You can click here for the link to HNN’s results from the poll. This was you will know which books you might want to avoid.