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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You may not agree with him, but you have to admire his chutzpah, May 28, 2012
This review is from: Candidate Without a Prayer: An Autobiography of a Jewish Atheist in the Bible Belt (Hardcover)
From a young age Herb Silverman was a freethinker waiting to happen. Being raised by an overprotective mother and an indifferent father, it was only a matter of time before he developed his own critical view of the world. His upbringing certainly helped shape his lifelong pursuit of logic and mathematics. I would describe Herb as someone I would share a beer with, but not an apartment. He's an eccentric man who was lucky enough to find a wife who compliments his quirkiness.

I've read quite a bit on arguing against religious belief, and this book is similar in many ways because much of it is devoted to introducing atheism to a reader who is "on the fence" regarding belief while persuading them away from supernatural thinking. Too often though these books read like textbooks and they all start sounding the same. Candidate Without a Prayer sets itself apart because Herb crafts the conventional arguments in the framework of his autobiography. Some highlights are when he attends a twelve-week Bible study class and ends up teaching as much as he learns, writing a joint newspaper column with a former religion news editor where they both set aside their differences and craft an inspiring piece on the views they have in common, and his critical essay on the hypocrisy of the Catholic Church where he makes a mostly-tongue-in-cheek case for why he should be elected the next Pope.

Herb Silverman's greatest strength is his willingness, even eagerness, to engage those who disagree with him. He may not always change his mind, but one can tell he's genuinely listening.
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Location: Kansas City, USA

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