[Hac-announce] December 2016 Book Discussion: "The Great Agnostic: Robert Ingersoll and American Freethought " by Susan Jacoby

Kevin Gough or Paula Jones kvngough at aol.com
Mon Nov 21 17:01:08 EST 2016

Our book for December is The Great Agnostic: Robert Ingersoll and American Freethought by Susan Jacoby. The discussion will take place Saturday, December 17, 2016 at 2 pm in the library of the Unitarian Society of New Haven at 700 Hartford Turnpike, Hamden.

A biography that restores America’s foremost nineteenth-century champion of reason and secularism to our still contested twenty-first-century public square.

"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

"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, New York Times Book Review

Supplementary Reading: To compliment our October book, Paine's "The Age of Reason", please read Ingersoll's wonderful essay "Thomas Paine" - http://infidels.org/library/historical/robert_ingersoll/on_thomas_paine.html

Refreshments will be served.

Also, we are still taking suggestion for the reading list for 2017. Let me know (in person or via e-mail at kvngough at aol.com) if you have a title you think the group would enjoy. Thanks.

The book is readily available in numerous libraries around the state.

Refreshments will be served.







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