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  • Freethinkers

  • A History of American Secularism
  • By: Susan Jacoby
  • Narrated by: Rich Miller
  • Length: 13 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History, Americas
  • 4.0 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Summary

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 200 years of secularist activism, beginning with the fierce debate over the omission of God from the Constitution. Moving from 19th-century abolitionism and suffragism through the 20th 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.

©2004 Susan Jacoby (P)2017 Pitchstone Publishing

Critic reviews

"Jacoby accomplishes her task with clarity, thoroughness, and an engaging passion." ( Los Angeles Times Book Review)

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  • Clark Savage
  • 27-11-17

Essential history of free thought in America

An interesting overview of the free thought movement and key ieaders and instigators. Thomas Paine, Jefferson, Robert Green Ingersoll, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Abraham Lincoln and more. An essential history to better understand how unique and lucky we are to have a secular based government that theoretically serves the interests all creeds, philosophies, religions and disciplines.

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  • Tim Patrick Grunkemeyer
  • 20-07-21

Important Book

A great book relating the important but sometimes forgotten history of Freethought in the United States.

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  • David Carter
  • 12-07-21

Open your mind

This is an excellent audiobook. The vocabulary is really strong so I had to keep my second phone close to look up definitions on occasions.
I am on my 3rd listen and am continuing to discover ideas that I missed. One has to pay close attention to the narrative in order to absorb all the ideas.
A believer needs to keep an open mind and not automatically block out the agnostic and atheistic concepts.
Of course, being a freethinker means believing that if there is a god then he/she gave the human race a mind with which to think without fear of retribution.
Believers might want to be careful because this book might change a lot with regards to beliefs.

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    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Wayne Wilson
  • Wayne Wilson
  • 26-09-19

Must read for freethinkers of all flavors

USA was founded to be a secular government. Not everyone has agreed with this plan but it has held since our beginnings. That said, this perspective seems to be at an all-time high now.

Major players include Jefferson, Maddison, Paine, Robert Ingersoll, women's rights advocates, abolitionists, etc

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  • Ben Dover
  • 17-06-19

Very good history

The tone of the story is excellent, and the narrator has a clear easily understood voice. The story explains the history of the back-and-forth between different religions and freethinkers throughout the past two centuries in the United States. Very interesting, very well told.

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  • CL
  • 16-03-19

A very non-biased history lesson

Moderately dry, but ultimately an outstanding history lesson and outlook on America and how religions has impacted our culture.