Freethinkers by Susan Jacoby
A History of American Secularism

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 1 Critic Review

Jacoby recounts this history with passion, and without shying away from its messy details. Especially noteworthy is her claim that secularism serves as a faith in itself, rather than the absence of one.
-AV Club

Synopsis

An authoritative history of the vital role of secularist thinkers and activists in the United States, from a writer of "fierce intelligence and nimble, unfettered imagination" (The New York Times)

At a time when the separation of church and state is under attack as never before, Freethinkers offers a powerful defense of the secularist heritage that gave Americans the first government in the world founded not on the authority of religion but on the bedrock of human reason.

In impassioned, elegant prose, celebrated author Susan Jacoby paints a striking portrait of more than two hundred years of secularist activism, beginning with the fierce debate over the omission of God from the Constitution. Moving from nineteenth-century abolitionism and suffragism through the twentieth century's civil liberties, civil rights, and feminist movements, Freethinkers illuminates the neglected accomplishments of secularists who, allied with liberal and tolerant religious believers, have stood at the forefront of the battle for reforms opposed by reactionary forces in the past and today.

Rich with such iconic figures as Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Clarence Darrow—as well as once-famous secularists such as Robert Green Ingersoll, "the Great Agnostic"—Freethinkers restores to history generations of dedicated humanists. It is they, Jacoby shows, who have led the struggle to uphold the combination of secular government and religious liberty that is the glory of the American system.

 

About Susan Jacoby

See more books from this Author
Susan Jacoby is the author of ten books, including Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism, The Age of American Unreason, and Alger Hiss and the Battle for History. She contributes to many newspapers and national magazines. She lives in New York City.
 
Published January 7, 2005 by Metropolitan Books. 432 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Religion & Spirituality, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for Freethinkers
All: 1 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 0

AV Club

Above average
Reviewed by Donna Bowman on Jul 06 2004

Jacoby recounts this history with passion, and without shying away from its messy details. Especially noteworthy is her claim that secularism serves as a faith in itself, rather than the absence of one.

Read Full Review of Freethinkers: A History of Am... | See more reviews from AV Club

Reader Rating for Freethinkers
87%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 152 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×