The Atheist: Madalyn Murray O'Hair Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0814751725
ISBN-10: 0814751725
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Forty years ago Madalyn Murray O'Hair was so notorious for her role in the Supreme Court decision banning prayers from public schools that she was, in the words of one Life profile, "the most hated woman in America." Although she assembled a nationwide movement of atheists and remained a thorn in the side of America's religious conservatives for nearly three decades, this biography more than ably reveals her limitations as a public intellectual and a social activist. In the opening chapters, Le Beau, a historian of religion at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, provides a thorough account of O'Hair's struggle to eliminate morning prayer from her son's junior high school, deftly portraying the anti-atheist sentiment of the Cold War era and fleshing out the precedents set by earlier Supreme Court interpretations of the separation of church and state. The book then continues with a look at her "caustic, sarcastic, even outrageous" rhetoric. But the biographical account is interrupted halfway through with two chapters cataloging the philosophical and historical underpinnings of O'Hair's arguments, before Le Beau resumes the depiction of her downfall and the bizarre circumstances surrounding her disappearance in 1995 and the subsequent discovery of her body. The consequences of O'Hair's arrogance and combativeness will draw readers in initially, but in the end, there's only so much to say about her; even academics may find the account padded with quotations from political debates and O'Hair's fan mail. However, with the Pledge of Allegiance facing the same challenge O'Hair mounted against school prayer, her story couldn't be more timely.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

“Le Beau offers an informative and melancholy portrait of self-promotion and folly.”
-American Historical Review



“Le Beau’s biography is the longer and better researched of two recently published lives of Murray.”
-The New Republic



The Atheist is especially instructive today as issues of the separation of church and state continue to reverberate throughout our culture . . . well documented.”
-BOOK LOOK



The Atheist belongs on the short shelf of books on American atheism, church-state relations, and school prayer.”
-The Journal of American History



“Clear-eyed and judicious.”
-The Women's Review of Books


Product details

  • File Size: 1574 KB
  • Print Length: 398 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0814751717
  • Publisher: NYU Press (January 15, 2003)
  • Publication Date: January 15, 2003
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004DUMR54
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,132,155 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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