☆ Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism ¹ Susan Jacoby, Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism, Susan Jacoby, Freethinkers A History of American Secularism 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 A ☆ Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism ¹ Susan Jacoby - Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism, Freethinkers A History of American Secularism 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 ti

  • Title: Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism
  • Author: Susan Jacoby
  • ISBN: 9780805074420
  • Page: 362
  • Format: Hardcover

☆ Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism ¹ Susan Jacoby ☆ Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism ¹ Susan Jacoby - Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism, Freethinkers A History of American Secularism 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 ti

  • ☆ Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism ¹ Susan Jacoby
    362 Susan Jacoby
Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism

About "Susan Jacoby"

  1. Susan Jacoby

    Susan Jacoby born 1945 is an American author, most recently of the New York Times best seller The Age of American Unreason about American anti intellectualism She is director of the New York branch of the Center for Inquiry.

482 thoughts on “Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism”

  1. 4.5 starsMy main reaction to this book Why didn t we learn ANY OF THIS in history class And well, the answer s fairly obvious.Jacoby did a superlative job presenting a portrait of American history, this time including the atheists, agnostics, freethinkers, humanists, and secular Jews who often played as large a role in the titanic struggles in our nation s history abolition, womens rights and yet have been written out of the record in favor of a narrative that such social change came about by de [...]


  2. This book was a shock to me in many ways I was unaware of the very early opposition to the godless constitution of the United States Quite unrealistically, I had thought the cultural wars debating the role of religion in government and the role of government in religion originated in the 20th century.The book also introduced me to the works of Col Robert Ingersoll, who seems to be an amazing speaker on the topics of religion, government, and liberty I am quite appreciative that I have found this [...]


  3. I get so weary of hearing people say that the United States of America is a Christian nation It is not Freethinkers explains this essential fact in an interesting fashion Susan Jacoby chronicles secularist thought from the revolutionary period until the present, bringing it to life by profiling Americans like Bob Ingersoll, The Great Agnostic I strongly recommend this book to everyone Those who believe that the USA is a Christian nation will learn that it is not those who know the truth will gai [...]


  4. This is an excellent and fair history of American secularism Susan Jacoby reclaims American history from the religious right She writes of freethinkers, deists, atheists, agnostics and other dissenters and their involvement in the drafting of the constitution, the abolition and suffragist movements, the progressive and freethinker movements, and the attacks on secularism from the red scare, the Scopes Trial and McCarthyism This is a great book for those that have bought the lie that the US is a [...]


  5. I cannot recommend this book highly enough I cannot overstate how insightful, useful and dare I say, necessary Freethinkers truly is Not only does Jacoby lay out the best defense of secular values that has ever been written with the possible exception of the Constitution itself , but she also offers an extremely thorough account of American history through the vision of some of America s most important figures from the past and present It is strange to think, how even the late nineteenth century [...]


  6. Freethinkers A History of American Secularism by Susan Jacoby Freethinkers is a fascinating historical account of the role of freethinkers in United States This book provides an important narrative of the impact of freethinkers in the creation of the first secular government in the world This 448 page book is composed of the following twelve chapters 1 Revolutionary Secularism, 2 The Age of Reason and Unreason, 3 Lost Connections Anticlericalism, Abolitionism, and Feminism, 4 The Belief and Unbe [...]


  7. I appreciate the point of view of this book, and it is truly sad that no one could, today, stand up and celebrate America s secular foundations.Having said that, the book is not particularly interesting or persuasive It is a history of so called forgotten freethinkers read secular humanists , although I am not sure the degree to which Thomas Paine and William Garrison are forgotten or ignored I ll give her Ingersoll Nor am I sure the degree to which Abraham Lincoln s conflicted views of religion [...]


  8. Freethinkers A History of American Secularism presents Susan Jacoby s cheerful, well informed voice in a great review of American history from a secular and liberal point of view, extending from Thomas Paine to George W Bush Jacoby is quite clear in showing that many conservative values anti abortion, anti communism, pro guns, anti science, and others stem from the belief that the Christian religion should be a dominant force in American government.Jacoby begins with the stories of Thomas Paine [...]


  9. This book makes a good follow up to Jennifer Michael Hecht s book Doubt A History The Great Doubters and Their Legacy of Innovation from Socrates and Jesus to Thomas Jefferson and Emily Dickinson Freethinkers is both an engaging treatment of the influence of secularist thought through American history and an impassioned polemic against the dangers of mixing religious and political power Despite her passion for secular government and her clearly evident lack of religious belief, Jacoby treats the [...]


  10. Excellent introductory history I feel cheated that I never learned about the contributions of Elizabeth Cady Stanton or Lucretia Mott in than a glossed over fashion in my American history studies, nor of Robert Green Ingersoll at all These people, along with a host of better known names such as Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine, as well as other lesser knowns, had the courage of their convictions despite the social pressures of living in an overtly religious society One point Jacoby s book make [...]


  11. In this book, Susan Jacoby examines the beginnings of United States as a nation through historical perspective, chiefly focused on its secular roots and its founding fathers From the beginning of the book, it becomes obvious and clear that the book is thoroughly researched with rich information, including many quotations from such people as Paine, Jefferson, Ingersoll, Stanton, Goldman and many It is through quotes and their interpretation analysis that Susan Jacoby is able to construct a pictu [...]


  12. Before I started reading this book I was afraid that it might be an anti religion tirade than a history book I m happy to say that my assumption was unfounded Jacoby s history of secularism in America is well researched, mostly unbiased, and nicely written When she occasionally strays away from straight history and into editorialism, her thoughts are well thought out and soundly argued It isn t until the final chapter, however, that she really steps completely out of history and into personal c [...]


  13. Jacoby s history of American secularism is an openly polemical book with a clear agenda She wants to bring out the strong secular undercurrent in many key parts of American history, most importantly the founding Overall the book is a success in this regard, presenting a side of history that most Americans probably don t think about As a secularist myself, it s empowering to see that my people have their own history and traditions in America Jacoby helps modern secularists arm themselves with the [...]


  14. The history of America is the history of American secularism.In FREETHINKERS A HISTORY OF AMERICAN SECULARISM, author Susan Jacoby traces the origins and development of freethought in America and demonstrates how the history of America is intimately intertwined with the history of American secularism Starting with the American Revolution and working through American history up to the present day Bush administration, Jacoby offers a concise but colorful overview of secularism, freethought, and th [...]


  15. Explicitly secular contributions to some of our nation s most cherished, hard fought, progressive victories were not exactly educational highlights of my youth Indeed, they weren t taught at all a major reason, I m sure, that I ve lived this long without knowing the name of Robert Ingersoll, the greatest orator of his day and a proponent of a robust and inspiring secular vision for the United States during the golden age of freethought, a shamefully understudied period of American history.Jacoby [...]


  16. Reading this book reminded me of the book Doubt A History by Jennifer Michael Hecht Both books are about the history of free thought, but Susan Jacoby s book is intensely focused on the happenings in the US, while Jennifer Hecht s book has a global scope Both books are equally delightful.The strangest thing about the US today is its great religious read Christian fervour, sometimes bordering the intensity of that of Islamic countries Yet, the US is a country founded on secular terms, and whose f [...]


  17. A solid albeit a trifle long history of atheism, agnosticism, secularism, and free thinkers in America I knew some of this history, but much of it was new to me If anything, this book has reinforced the necessity for a separation of religion and government in my mind, something that, in recent years, has faded a bit from my thinking The Founders did not set out to create a Christian nation Teaching evolution in schools is not something that is controversial outside the fever swamp of fundamental [...]


  18. Jacoby states the case for the necessity of secularism in our society Through the lives of American secularists, she shows the unending struggle to keep the separation of church and state Some of the lives highlighted are Thomas Paine, William Lloyd Garrison, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Abraham Lincoln, Robert G Ingersoll, Emma Goldman, and Clarence Darrow Ingersoll is one of the remarkable figures of American history, all the so as he is almost completely forgotten today Perhaps the greatest orat [...]


  19. All men and women are created equal We are laying the foundations of the grand temple of the future not the temple of all gods, but of all people wherein, with appropriate rites, will be celebrated the religion of Humanity We are doing what little we can to hasten the coming of the day when society shall cease producing millionaires and mendicants gorged indolence and famished industry truth in rags, and superstition robed and crowned We are looking for the time when useful shall be the honorabl [...]


  20. I took this book as the rallying cry it was meant to be If you read it and emerge from it apathetic, then you are truly lost Secularists , atheists, and their ilk should understand that they should not be interested only in themselves or their own causes, but in the causes of all of humanity, religious and nonreligious Assaults on science and secularism threaten to undermine not just the civil liberties and the average intelligence of Americans, but the entire moral code of the nation How can th [...]


  21. I m taking a break from this book It s not long, but it s been kind of a slog for me, and I have trouble getting very far at a stretch The information is relatively interesting, but the writing seems to wander around, almost verging on filler at times It also has the timbre of a condescending talk radio monologue it s sprinkled with asides that might have been framed as interesting comparisons, but instead come across as prissy freshman self righteousness I might finish it later, maybe I ll skip [...]


  22. Truly eye opening You can not only see how secularists and nonbelievers have been written out of our history, but how it is happening before our eyes today Even alarming, is the process by which religious interests of today claim the successes and sacrifices of yesterday s secularists for themselves Read this and see history differently.


  23. Great topic, but I remember finding this one a bit of a slog to get through Some scattered vignettes of interest, but Jacoby s prose sometimes came a little too close to sweeping hyperbole, which doesn t do justice to the subject.




  24. I picked up a paperback copy of this after hearing good reviews of the author I ve been trying, without success, to read it I don t know the topic secularism and author feminist atheist both appeal to me, but her writing style just does not engage me It s frustrating I read about halfway through before I gave up on forcing myself to keep reading.I d recommend, Doubt A History, by Jennifer Michael Hecht instead.


  25. Incredible account of non conformist in American history The only reason I m not giving it 5 stars is the lack of depth It gives cursory description of each subject, their work and how it shaped or impacted society.



  26. Well written and researched Applicable to this most recent election and especially with regards to the influence of the Religious Right surrounding the Trump presidency.


  27. Susan Jacoby has written Freethinkers A History of American Secularism packed with information, too much information for me The research that must have been involved to write this book is impressive I found it best to set the book aside, going back to it in manageable helpings But, regrettably, I didn t figure that out until 2 3 of the way through the book In chronological order from the American Revolution to the time of the publication of the book in 2004, she follows the often forgotten histo [...]


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