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E-book
Author Jacoby, Susan, 1945-

Title The great agnostic : Robert Ingersoll and American freethought / Susan Jacoby
Published New Haven : Yale University Press, [2013]
┬ę2013

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Description 1 online resource (ix, 246 pages)
Contents The making of an iconoclast -- The political insider and the religious outsider -- Champion of science -- The humanistic freethinker -- Church and state -- Reason and passion -- Death and afterlife
Summary "In this provocative biography, Susan Jacoby, the author of Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism, restores Ingersoll to his rightful place in an American intellectual tradition extending from Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine to the current generation of "new atheists." Jacoby illuminates the ways in which America's often-denigrated and forgotten secular history encompasses issues, ranging from women's rights to evolution, as potent and divisive today as they were in Ingersoll's time. Ingersoll emerges in this portrait as one of the indispensable public figures who keep an alternative version of history alive. He devoted his life to that greatest secular idea of all--liberty of conscience belonging to the religious and nonreligious alike."--Publisher's website
This book is a biography that restores America's foremost nineteenth-century champion of reason and secularism to our still contested twenty-first-century public square. From the author of Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism comes a provocative portrait of Robert Green Ingersoll, known as "the Great Agnostic" and the foremost spokesman during America's Gilded Age for secularism and the separation of church and state. When he died in 1899, it was widely acknowledged that he might have aspired to the U.S. presidency had it not been for his antireligious views. Instead, he became the most passionate advocate for Enlightenment reason since the nation's founding. To the question that retains its divisive power -- was the United States founded as a Christian nation? -- Ingersoll answered an emphatic no. This erudite and entertaining account restores Ingersoll to his rightful place in an American intellectual tradition extending from Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine to the current generation of "new atheists." Jacoby illuminates the ways in which America's often-denigrated and forgotten secular history encompasses issues, including women's rights, immigration, racism, and evolution, that are as potent and divisive today as they were in Ingersoll's time. Ingersoll emerges in this portrait as one of the indispensable public figures who keeps an alternative version of history alive. He devoted his life to that greatest secular idea of all -- liberty of conscience belonging to the religious and nonreligious alike
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 221-224) and index
Notes English
Print version record
Subject Ingersoll, Robert Green, 1833-1899.
Ingersoll, Robert Green, 1833-1899
Freethinkers -- United States -- Biography
Freethinkers -- United States -- History
BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY -- Religious.
RELIGION -- Agnosticism.
HISTORY -- United States -- 19th Century.
Freethinkers.
Vrijdenkerij.
United States.
Verenigde Staten.
Genre/Form Biographies.
History.
Biografie├źn (vorm)
Form Electronic book
LC no. 2012027881
ISBN 9780300188929
0300188927
9780300137255
0300137257