Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism

Front Cover
Paw Prints, Oct 20, 2008 - History - 417 pages
30 Reviews
"Jacoby accomplishes her task with clarity, thoroughness, and an engaging passion."
-Los Angeles Times Book Review

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 traces 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 achievements of secularists who, allied with tolerant believers, have led the battle for reform in the past and today.

Rich with such iconic figures as Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Paine, and the once-famous Robert Green Ingersoll, Freethinkers restores to history the passionate humanists who struggled against those who would undermine the combination of secular government and religious liberty that is the glory of the American system.

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Review: Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism

User Review  - Jordan - Goodreads

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 ... Read full review

Review: Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism

User Review  - Jim - Goodreads

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 ... Read full review

About the author (2008)

Susan Jacoby is the author of five books including Wild Justice, a Pulitzer Prize finalist. A contributor to The Washington Post, The New York Times, Newsday, and Vogue, she lives in New York City.

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