Doubt: A History, the Great Doubters and Their Legacy of Innovation from Socrates and Jesus to Thomas Jefferson and Emily Dickinson (Library Edition)

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9781433292736: Doubt: A History, the Great Doubters and Their Legacy of Innovation from Socrates and Jesus to Thomas Jefferson and Emily Dickinson (Library Edition)

In this sweeping history, Jennifer Michael Hecht celebrates doubt as an engine of creativity and as an alternative to the political and intellectual dangers of certainty. Just as belief has its own history featuring people whose unique expressions of faith forever changed the world, doubt has a vibrant story and tradition with its own saints, martyrs, and sages. Hecht shows that the great doubters ponder the same issues as the great believers. She celebrates such heroes of doubt as Confucius, Socrates, Jesus, Wang Ch ung, Hypatia, Maimonides, Galileo, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Charles Darwin, Marie Curie, Emily Dickinson, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and Margaret Sanger people who drove history forward by challenging the powers and conventional wisdom of their time and heritage.

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About the Author:

JENNIFER MICHAEL HECHT, an accomplished historian and an award-winning poet, earned a Ph.D. in the history of science from Columbia University. She is the author of The End of the Soul: Scientific Modernity, Atheism, and Anthropology in France and coauthor of the major textbook Western Civilizations: The Continuing Experiment. She lives in New York City and is an assistant professor of history at Nassau Community College.

From AudioFile:

Shifting between the views of the religious believer and the agnostic questioner, Hecht takes the listener on a journey into the history of doubt from the Greeks to the present. Martha Pardee's measured pacing lends clarity to the complex subject. She graces this nonfiction work with her firm, reflective tones, her sense of humor, and her wonder at the passionate seekers of truth she is describing. Challengers throughout history have attempted to reconcile the seeming meaninglessness of the universe with humanity's need for significance. Hecht's witty prose coupled with Pardee's expressive narration produces an accessible presentation about skepticism and the intellectual discovery it can lead to. A.W. AudioFile 2010, Portland, Maine

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