Books by Susan Jacoby

STRANGE GODS by Susan Jacoby
Released: Feb. 16, 2016

"Jacoby draws the first detailed maps of a terrain that has been very much in need of intelligent, careful cartography."
In a work blending culture, religion, history, biography, and a bit of memoir (with more than a soupcon of attitude), the author of The Great Agnostic: Robert Ingersoll and American Freethought (2013, etc.) returns with a revealing historical analysis of religious conversions.Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 8, 2013

"More earnest than truculent, Jacoby writes for a readership of freethinkers, but believers who stumble upon the book will find it hard to deny that, irreligion aside, Ingersoll was a thoroughly admirable figure."
Veteran journalist Jacoby (Never Say Die: The Myth and Marketing of the New Old Age, 2011, etc.) pens less a biography than a series of sympathetic essays on the ideas of Robert Ingersoll (1833-1899), a Gilded-Age media superstar whose speeches entertained vast audiences even of those who disagreed with his agnosticism. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 1, 2011

"A cogently argued and well-written corrective to 'the fantasy of beating old age.'"
A polemic meant to crush the notion that medical technology will soon make old age easier. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 12, 2008

"The argument is a little scattershot and occasionally self-serving, as social criticism tends to be, but Jacoby makes a good case for having a president who reads and a culture that provides material worth reading."
Anti-intellectualism is as American as—well, as anti-intellectualism, an ironic tradition that, writes Jacoby (Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism, 2004, etc.), allows the president to declare himself pro-education while admitting to not reading newspapers. Read full book review >
Released: April 5, 2004

"Balm for doubting Thomases—and a welcome addition to American cultural history."
A lively history of American antispiritualism, with a stellar cast. Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 2000

"Lacking a stronger, schizophrenic conflict, Jacoby's memoir tastes rather half-baked."
The memoir of a Catholic-trained atheist whose (ex-Catholic) Episcopalian father turns out to have been Jewish. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 26, 1992

"Insightful, poignant, and rife with honest revelations. (Photographs—32 pp.—not seen.)"
The story of a black Russian's life in pre-glasnost Russia, and of her quest to discover and connect with her American and African roots. Read full book review >