Godless: 150 Years of Disbelief: A Publishers Weekly Review

Godless: 150 Years of Disbelief

Publishers Weekly
October 2019

Bufe (20 Reasons to Abandon Christianity), publisher of anarchy-and-atheism-focused See Sharp Press, selects essays on atheism from the late 19th century to the present day in this deeply uneven collection. Chosen texts include selections from Ambrose Bierce’s The Devil’s Dictionary and Bufe’s American Heretic’s Dictionary (one of three pieces by Bufe in the volume), as well as pieces by early-20th-century activist Emma Goldman, English ethicist Joseph McCabe, and French anarchist Sébastien Faure. One of the most stimulating entries is Bufe’s afterword, which provides a whistle-stop overview of the history of atheist publishing. Most of the selected texts appear to be excerpts from larger works, but Bufe provides no citation information to help the reader along. Despite this, some of the seminal works included, such as Goldman’s “The Failure of Christianity” and Faure’s “Twelve Proofs of the Nonexistence of God,” will be of interest to novitiates of atheist thought. However, those looking for a nuanced discussion of atheism would do well to look elsewhere. Despite a few bright essays, this largely underwhelming volume plays at all times straight to the gallery and will appeal only to the likeminded.

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