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The Four Horsemen

The Conversation That Sparked an Atheist Revolution
Length: 3 hrs and 4 mins
5 out of 5 stars (403 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In 2007, Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Daniel Dennett filmed a landmark discussion about modern atheism. The video went viral. Now in audiobook for the first time, the transcript of their conversation is illuminated by new essays from three of the original participants and an introduction by Stephen Fry.

At the dawn of the new atheist movement, the thinkers who became known as “the four horsemen”, the heralds of religion's unraveling - Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Daniel Dennett - sat down together over cocktails. What followed was a rigorous, pathbreaking, and enthralling exchange that has been viewed millions of times since it was first posted on YouTube. This is intellectual inquiry at its best: exhilarating, funny, and unpredictable, sincere and probing, reminding us just how varied and colorful the threads of modern atheism are.

Here is the transcript of that conversation, in audiobook for the first time, augmented by material from the living participants: Dawkins, Harris, and Dennett. These new essays, introduced by Stephen Fry, mark the evolution of their thinking and highlight particularly resonant aspects of this epic exchange. Each man contends with the most fundamental questions of human existence while challenging the others to articulate their own stance on God and religion, cultural criticism, spirituality, debate with people of faith, and the components of a truly ethical life.

Read by Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel C. Dennett, Christopher Hitchens, and Stephen Fry.

Advance praise for The Four Horsemen:

“The full, electrifying transcript of the one and only conversation between the quartet of luminaries dubbed the ‘four horsemen’ of the New Atheism, which took place in Washington, D.C., in 2007. Among the vast range of ideas and questions they discuss: Is it ever possible to win a war of ideas? Is spirituality the preserve of the religious? And, are there any truths you would rather not know?” (The Bookseller, UK)

“If thinking were a sport, these four would be national superstars - and reading The Four Horsemen feels like having a front-row seat at the all-star game. This is more than a book about atheism and religion - it’s a lesson in how to use our intellect to cut through the haze of delusion and misconception inherent in any human society.” (Tim Urban, writer of Wait but Why?)

©2019 Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Daniel Dennett (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“For people inclined to disbelieve supernatural explanations - in America, we few, we happy few, we band of brothers and sisters - The Four Horsemen is a smart, fun, funny, seriously provocative primer.” (Kurt Andersen, host of Studio 360 and author of Fantasyland)

“We are slowly losing the hard-won right, gained by brave heroes of the enlightenment such as Voltaire and Hume, to be free to criticize religion without persecution and prosecution; the crime of blasphemy is creeping back. The words of Hitchens, Dawkins, Harris, and Dennett are needed more than ever. These are the heirs to Voltaire.” (Matt Ridley, author of The Evolution of Everything

“These four are the kinds of thinkers we don’t get enough of anymore: unapologetic, uncompromising, and deeply generous with one another as well as with anyone who happens to be listening in. You needn’t be an atheist or a horseman to relish every word of this delightful book. You just need to be hungry for genuine intellectual inquiry and open debate. And, let’s face it, you’re probably starving.” (Meghan Daum, author of The Unspeakable

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Short

The discussion is only 2 hours. My only complaint is that it’s the same price as a book. That aside, this is a seminal conversation, and fans of any of these imminent authors would be doing themselves a great disservice to miss hearing the discussion that conceived the works the authors penned afterward.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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So much good information.

As a life long conservative protestant Christian this was the next step for me in open questioning of religion. Very thought provoking and I will listen again in a couple of days to solidify ideas...highly recommended book.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Powerful.

These four men engaging in open discourse will forever be remembered. I am grateful to have grown up in an era of open, curious and provocative debate where parties disagree and don’t take it personal.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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God, I love to hear such intelligent men talk!

In depth, serious talk and open debate about spirituality and religion. An argument that faith and supernatural explanations can be debated and openly denied as "magical" thinking. That there is room for people to question religion and live comfortably with the belief that none of it is true but we still live in a wonderous world without God. I wish I could have been present at that dinner.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Like I was a fly on the wall

I wish it was ten times as long, this was the best 3 hours I ever spent doing anything. Beautiful, articulate, engaging, and sadly, can never be done again. Miss you Hitch.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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This.

This is the conversation that we need to be having. The convergence of these 4 men and their minds is a gift. Brilliant.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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nice! but I wish there was more

Excellent get together, even though they tried to prove witchcraft is just as prevelant now

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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this is just a podcast

don't get me wrong, I love these authors... but this is nothing more than a BS session of them talking about atheism around a dinner table. it's not even a book, it's just their recorded dialogue and should have been a podcast.

4 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Short, but packed with logic and meaning.

It was a pretty short conversation, the essays at the beginning were great. I would like to see more.

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This was a fun book by actual intellectuals and scientific erudites!

This was a fun book! However, I didn’t agree with Christopher Hitchens wanting believers to believe in God so that he could have something to debate about with someone. We already have sports as an faith equaling the absence of evidence.

My only glaring issue with the book was that it did not talk about the genesis of religions enough. They never tried to emphasize that people who wrote about religions may have existed after those who did not believe in God. Also, they never talk about how if we evolved from apes and apes are not known to believe in a god there it makes no sense for us to believe.

Sam Harris is the most courteous sounding secular person when debating believers. I wish I had his ability to be courteous, but people would still be upset. He actually justifiably makes believers look bad when he says that scientists are the only people that he hears saying the phrase I don’t know when there is no answer they can come up with. Plus, it’s good that he talked about how children are better of studying the arts, math, science, and economics. These make people more whole than whatever is currently taking place.

Lastly, I appreciate them emphasizing that science is also about trial and error to come up with a conclusion. If only believers could try this concept.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful