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120 of 122 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who says atheists don't have a sense of humour?
The Quotable Atheist begins with an unexpectedly incisive introduction in which Huberman proves he is more than just a humourist. Capable of prose easily as thoughtful and penetrating as that of some of the more well-known atheist writers, he gets straight into it - what is religion, how has it flourished, why does it continue, what do we mean by 'God' anyway, and come to...
Published on 21 July 2009 by Steve

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Bought as a gift
I bought this as a gift for my dad, so I can't comment on it myself, but he seemed to like it.
Published 9 months ago by wightrider


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120 of 122 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who says atheists don't have a sense of humour?, 21 July 2009
This review is from: Quotable Atheist: Ammunition for Nonbelievers, Political Junkies, Gadflies and Those Generally Hell-bound (Paperback)
The Quotable Atheist begins with an unexpectedly incisive introduction in which Huberman proves he is more than just a humourist. Capable of prose easily as thoughtful and penetrating as that of some of the more well-known atheist writers, he gets straight into it - what is religion, how has it flourished, why does it continue, what do we mean by 'God' anyway, and come to think of it, what do we mean by 'atheist'? It's all done and dusted within a mere 10 pages, but it's a surprisingly impressive polemic and a worthy inclusion.

Then we get to the quotes. I've no idea how many there are, but with 333 pages, most containing several, I'd guess upward of 1,000. And what an eclectic mix of figures they come from! Although Huberman is Canadian-American, his choice doesn't immediately betray that: from Clarkson to Toynbee, from Pinter to Pratchett, from Spinoza to the Simpsons, they're all here, spanning the globe and the centuries. He even lets the likes of Reagan and Falwell do their own digging. (You quickly learn from his commentary that Huberman is unapologetically liberal, but the strength of the quotes and diversity of their sources certainly doesn't depend on your sharing any one political bent.) Finally, he is sure to include those oft-misconstrued figures, Albert Einstein - cited here claiming he did not believe in a personal God - and Adolf Hitler - claiming he did.

In measuring the success of the book, an obvious question to ask is, who is it aimed at? Perhaps unsurprisingly, I'd say its largest appeal will be to non-believers looking for insight, 'ammunition' or just recognition-value humour. No doubt some believers will end up having it bought for them by 'considerate friends', and for these readers - who might otherwise balk at the thought of taking on a 400-page atheist diatribe - the dip-in-dip-out nature of this book should pique their interest, as should some of the well-known names. To the question of whether this book will convert believers, Huberman's answer is realistic: "Yes. A few. Three, I estimate. Two for sure."

There are a few downsides - Huberman's commentary that accompanies each quote is for the most part funny and apt, but occasionally grates. Also the book suffers from so many typos and repeated words that you start to wonder if it was actually proof-read at all. None of this is enough to knock off a star though.

With argument, persuasion and a dose of good old fashioned ridicule, The Quotable Atheist is probably one of the most entertaining anti-religious books you will read. If your bookshelf already contains some Dawkins, Dennett, Hitchens and Harris, treat yourself to this one, as it's a worthy addition to the 'classics'. Don't be put off by the fact that it's an easier read: it's lined with some laugh-out-loud humour, but believe me, there's no shortage of real insight from genuine thinkers.
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45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great fun and eminently quotable, 29 Jan. 2010
By 
Vinman666 (Essex, U.K.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Quotable Atheist: Ammunition for Nonbelievers, Political Junkies, Gadflies and Those Generally Hell-bound (Paperback)
Books of quotes are more likely to be used for randomly dipping than cover to cover reading. Certainly that's how I immediately began to use this book, opening pages at random and picking out quotes from recognisable names. And there are plenty of recognisable names, some of whom I knew were atheists and others who took me by surprise, for example Bob Geldof. The names you would expect are present and correct: Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens, Rushdie et al. However some of the best - and most quotable - aphorisms come from more obscure sources, for example Stanislaw Lec (Polish-Jewish Holocaust survivor): "I am against using death as a punishment. I am also against using it as a reward."

It's worthwhile resisting the temptation to dive straight in and instead read the introduction by Jack Huberman, because the religious will defend their faith as harmless and personal to them. Here in the U.K. that may be true, at least as far as the Church of England is concerned, but before they bury their heads back in the sand it's worth reminding them of the danger and factual history of religious fundamentalism, whether based in Afghanistan or America. Huberman makes all of that perfectly clear.

The problem with books like these though (and the reason for not giving 5 stars) is that only atheists, sceptics and the braver agnostics are ever likely to read it. Most of the quotes are perfectly true but use reason to make their arguments. There's little point in quoting them to a believer because "you can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into". Ridiculing religion is all too easy but the depressing reality is that the majority of the world's population is either willfully ignorant, uneducated, indoctrinated or just plain stupid.

To quote Jack Huberman, "Do I really believe this book will convert believers...? Yes. A few. Three, I estimate. Two for sure."
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The age of truth, 15 Feb. 2010
By 
Mr. T. W. Knapp (Dorset England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Quotable Atheist: Ammunition for Nonbelievers, Political Junkies, Gadflies and Those Generally Hell-bound (Paperback)
The Quotable Atheist was a good companion on my recent two week holiday. I started underlining the parts with which I agreed, I
gave up at page 212 because I had underlined nearly everything.
It was reassuring to find that so many thinking people shared my
prejudices as a full time atheist.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reinforce your common sense!, 10 Feb. 2012
This review is from: Quotable Atheist: Ammunition for Nonbelievers, Political Junkies, Gadflies and Those Generally Hell-bound (Paperback)
So many quotes, so much intelligence and coupled with not an insignificant amount of humor. The essence of common sense, destroying charlatans, clerics, theologians and priests by the page. The biggest religions have been and gone, this book will help kill off the last of the remainder hard though it is to believe that anyone still gives them space in 2012! A quote from the book " Give a man a fish and feed him for a day, give a man a religion and he will die praying for a fish!" Love it, one more then, "only sheep need a Shepard"
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5.0 out of 5 stars The "Who's Who" of Atheism, 21 Feb. 2011
By 
Mr. Stuart Bruce "DonQuibeats" (Cardiff, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Quotable Atheist: Ammunition for Nonbelievers, Political Junkies, Gadflies and Those Generally Hell-bound (Paperback)
As the "Who's Who" of atheism, this book is a alphabetical collection of many hundreds of atheists (and a few agnostics, and a couple of Popes) from all sorts of times and places throughout history, and the famous and worthwhile things that they've said on the subject of religion. It's extremely thorough and packed with interesting 'soundbites' (well, you know, if somebody read them out, they'd be soundbites).

Depending on the subject, sometimes you get more of a biography of each person than a collection of quotations from them, so sometimes it does feel more like a thorough but disordered history of atheism through the ages.

There's plenty of Jack Huberman's own writing throughout, mostly in the biographies but also as little inserts among the quotations. This is probably the weak spot, as while some of these quotes are funny, and made even funnier by Huberman's remarks, there is also a fair amount of very serious, sombre stuff in here, and Huberman's sarcastic and slightly too frequent interjections can get a tiny bit annoying. I agree with the other reviewer Steve M though, it's not enough to deduct a point for, as this is such a thorough, well-researched and comprehensive study of famous atheistic quotations that it shouldn't be faulted. Though it's priced like an ordinary book, what you're buying here is a concise dictionary of atheism.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 20 Dec. 2009
By 
Charles "mrfreedom" (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Quotable Atheist: Ammunition for Nonbelievers, Political Junkies, Gadflies and Those Generally Hell-bound (Paperback)
An addition to my library that I will keep forever, here is a book that is both accessible and stimulating, that can either be read in a few [long] sittings or dipped into when you choose.
The breadth of contributors is immense and that they're so varied is what keeps the book fresh and vital. And there is real wisdom here, words from the wisest people who ever lived, you could say (but it's not all atheists speaking, it's sometimes the 'godly', hoisting themselves by their own petards, like the popes delicately sprinkled throughout the volume, revealing the tyranny of the Catholic Church).
My criticism would be that the author is too much of a lefty and assumes that leftyism equeals No God and right equals God. Well, speaking as someone from the [libertarian] right I am living proof that this is not always so. However, I do concede that in general, in history and in the USA especially, a good deal of freethinkers and secularlists have come from liberal backgrounds. So I do find myself increasingly at odds with fellow members of the right like Charles Moore, Quentin Letts and Peter Hitchens, who seem to support that bizarre fable called Christianity.
Anyway, this book is brilliant - order it now.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely aimed at fellow Atheists!!!, 17 Jan. 2014
By 
J. Neary (Cork, Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Quotable Atheist: Ammunition for Nonbelievers, Political Junkies, Gadflies and Those Generally Hell-bound (Paperback)
Enjoyable compilation of quotes from a broad spectrum of people. Definitely aimed at fellow Atheists. At times very funny (look up the Butch Hancock quote, P138!!!), at other times surprising and at other times profound. Of course there is a lot of quotes here that are 'Religion-bashing'. But what do you expect, the clue is in the title (and lets face it, it's part of the fun of being an atheist). I wouldn't mind, however, having one or two of the more profound quotes read out at my funeral. It was a bit of a surprise of who I found quoted in this book.

My only problem with the way the book is written is the fact that Jack Huberman tends to stick his nose into a lot of the quotes. He adds his own line or two to a lot of them. It is easy to tell in the quote which part is his (the text style changes) but I would have rather that he lets the quotes speak for themselves. But, to be fair, this is a small gripe on an otherwise good book that's good for dipping into now and again. It makes for a perfect gift for a fellow atheist!!! that's how I got it :-)
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27 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rational sound-bites, 7 Sept. 2008
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This review is from: Quotable Atheist: Ammunition for Nonbelievers, Political Junkies, Gadflies and Those Generally Hell-bound (Paperback)
A nice enough little book, that lists famous figures from A-Z, and from all walks of life, and prints what each had to say on religion/god(s)/humanity. It's surprising just how many household names were/are Atheists..
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A bible for the non-believer, 20 Sept. 2010
This review is from: Quotable Atheist: Ammunition for Nonbelievers, Political Junkies, Gadflies and Those Generally Hell-bound (Paperback)
The book is simple in form, well constructed and lighthearted however this does not in anyway diminish the powerful messages contained within. It is a wonderful resource for reference, vindication of atheist morals, inspirational ideas and recalibration of the mind. Much of the value of the book lies outside the words on the page in that each individual quote provokes considerable thought. A real pleasure to read!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining for Atheist's, 24 Aug. 2011
By 
Yonmon (Isle of Wight) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Quotable Atheist: Ammunition for Nonbelievers, Political Junkies, Gadflies and Those Generally Hell-bound (Paperback)
This had some very entertaining and interesting quotes and general info for Atheist's. I bought for my husband but have flicked through this myself. He is throughly suited with it. Easy reading which can be picked up and put down easily and is in headied sections which is always handy for this time of reading.
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