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Publisher's 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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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.