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The New Encyclopedia of Unbelief Hardcover – April 30, 2007
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However, while intellectual honesty requires that I disclose my own contribution to this book in the form of the entry on Thomas Paine, it is equally important to add that in close to 25 years of research, public history, and writing in the field of freethought history, democratic reform, and (yes) that most glorious agitator, Tom Paine, I know of no single work on its subject that even approaches THE NEW ENCYCLOPEDIA OF UNBELIEF for usefulness and scholarly integrity.
Yes, I have a copy at ready hand on the shelf and yes, I use it. And no, I did not, nor will I ever, receive so much as a penny for my contribution to it or for this review. With best wishes to you all.
In terms of energy and entertainment value, the editor also made what I would regard as some fatal decisions. He decided not to include stand-alone entries concerning still-living non-believers, and he decided not to include internet references or contemporary atheist groups. This constitutes just pure timidity and laziness on his part. The effect of this is to give the volume the feeling of having been written in the 1980s, and not the 21st century. It thus gives off a dusty, historical, and non-contemporary feel.Read more ›
I am in two minds about the decision not to give direct references to web sites (although some are mentioned in the text). Such references may be convenient, but the resources referred to may disappear, or, worse, deteriorate in quality, and the articles themselves are of course a rich source of search terms.
At its current price, this impressively produced volume is probably beyond the reach of most readers, but would be a valuable addition to any library, and I look forward to the appearance of a paperback edition directed at the individual purchaser.
Having written a few entries on literary figures for the new encyclopedia, I may be vulnerable to the charge of biased reviewing. I, of course, don't see it that way. Having read books on unbelief for a half century, I think I can separate the wheat from the chaff.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This tome is a year's worth of careful reading and re-reading. There are already many professional reviews of the book, so you don't need mine. Read morePublished on April 2, 2013 by Ron
I have some specific concerns about the article on AGNOSTICISM. There was no mentiion of the Metaphysical Society planning meeting where Huxley coined the word agnostic, the... Read morePublished on November 16, 2007 by William H. Young