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The Great Agnostic: Robert Ingersoll and American Freethought Hardcover – 4 Jan 2013

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (4 Jan. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300137257
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300137255
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 14.9 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,238,337 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

"A must-read book." -Bill Moyers, from "Moyers & Co" interview -- Bill Moyers Moyers & Co. "Jacoby succeeds in capturing Ingersoll's remarkable appeal across sectarian and political boundaries. His warmth, humor, tolerance, and rhetorical skill are vividly conveyed, and they are validated by much contemporaneous testimony from figures who would ordinarily have been expected to shun an infamous blasphemer."-Frederick Crews, University of California, Berkeley -- Frederick Crews "As someone who did brave battle with narrow-minded fundamentalists in his own day, Robert Ingersoll would surely be appalled at the political influence of their heirs today. But their very rise makes Susan Jacoby's fine, compact and judicious account of Ingersoll's life and ideas all the more important. She has given us a splendid intellectual portrait of an American who deserves to be far better known."-Adam Hochschild, author of Bury the Chains and To End All Wars -- Adam Hochschild "Robert Ingersoll used his wit to blast the absurdities of religion, while his warmth kept him close to his audiences. He has found his perfect biographer in Susan Jacoby, who uses his story to provide deep insights not only into Ingersoll's century but our own."-Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, author of 36 Arguments for the Existence of God: A Work of Fiction -- Rebecca Newberger Goldstein "Susan Jacoby has written a necessary, informative, and intelligent survey of the life, times, and writings of a most neglected figure in American history. A serious and thoughtful reflection on a topic of interest to historians, humanists, and social scientists, let alone general readers, The Great Agnostic will deepen one of the most important of contemporary debates."-Alan Wolfe, author of The Future of Liberalism -- Alan Wolfe "Jacoby's goal of elucidating the life and work of Robert Ingersoll is admirably accomplished. She offers a host of well-chosen quotations from his work, and she deftly displays the effect he had on others. For instance: after a young Eugene V. Debs heard Ingersoll talk, Debs accompanied him to the train station and then - just so he could continue the conversation - bought himself a ticket and rode all the way from Terre Haute to Cincinnati. Readers today may well find Ingersoll's company equally entrancing." -Jennifer Michael Hecht, The New York Times Book Review -- Jennifer Michael Hecht The New York Times Book Review "Jacoby writes with wit and vigor, affectionately resurrecting a man whose life and work are due for reconsideration."-Kate Tuttle, The Boston Globe -- Kate Tuttle The Boston Globe "In this persuasive biography, Jacoby makes the case that Americans are dearly indebted to Ingersoll, and would be well-served to revisit his life and writings at a time when religious thought continues to be a divisive force in American civic life... In this important volume, Jacoby illuminates a mind worth celebrating and the story of a life well lived."-Mythili Rao, The Daily Beast -- Mythili Rao The Daily Beast Won Honorable Mention for the 2013 Southern California Book Festival, in the Biography/Autobiography category, sponored by JM Northern Media LLC. -- Southern California Book Festival JM Northern Media LLC Won Honorable Mention in the 2013 Great Midwest Book Festival for the Biography/Autobiography category, given by JM Northern Media LLC -- Great Midwest Book Festival JM Northern Media LLC

About the Author

Susan Jacoby is the author of numerous books, including Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism,The Age of American Unreason, Alger Hiss and the Battle for History, and The Last Men on Top, a recently published eBook. She lives in New York City.


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on 15 June 2013
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on 10 January 2015
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com

Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars 111 reviews
77 people found this helpful.
5.0 out of 5 starsRestores Ingersoll to his Place in History
on 13 December 2012 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover|Verified Purchase
54 people found this helpful.
5.0 out of 5 starsCorrecting the obscurity of an American hero.
on 31 December 2012 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover|Verified Purchase
15 people found this helpful.
5.0 out of 5 starsIn praise of Robert G. Ingersoll
on 18 February 2013 - Published on Amazon.com
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