Ethical Record Book Reviews

Book Reviews

The Evolution of Atheism: The Politics of a Movement

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Estimated 9 min read

By: Stephen LeDew (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016)

Review by: Dr Bill Cooke

The English historian Norman Stone once noted that doctoral dissertations are about amassing ponderous armies of facts to pursue a war of attrition on behalf of some trivial insight. The Evolution of Atheism, which is the result of Stephen LeDrew’s doctoral work, is an example of this genre. For the…

Book Reviews

The Evolution of Atheism: The Politics of a Movement

Posted on:
Estimated 9 min read

By: Stephen LeDrew (Oxford University Press, 2016)

Review by: Dr Bill Cooke

The English historian Norman Stone once noted that doctoral dissertations are about amassing ponderous armies of facts to pursue a war of attrition on behalf of some trivial insight. The Evolution of Atheism, which is the result of Stephen LeDrew’s doctoral work, is an example of this genre. For the…

Book Reviews

Wilma’s Story: Growing up in Nazi Germany and Colonial Rhodesi

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Estimated 1 min read

By: Wilma Neumann (Hollander) Introduction by Doris Hollander Edited by Martin Page (Print Forum Ltd. (2016). 95 pages.)

Review by: Norman Bacrac

CHES member Martin Page is known to those interested in secularist history as the author of Britain’s Unknown Genius (1984), an account of the life of SPES Appointed Lecturer J.M.Robertson. As well as providing useful editorial notes to the text, Martin has written the Preface to Wilma’s Story, which is…

Book Reviews

Aspiring to the Truth: Two Hundred Years of the South Place Ethical Society

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Estimated 2 min read

By: Jim Herrick (Conway Hall Ethical Society (May 2016), 248 pages, £12)

Review by: Norman Bacrac

Freethought author and member of the Society, Jim Herrick, was commissioned to write an account of the history of this Society from its inception in 1793 to date. The first history was written by Moncure D. Conway, the Minister of the South Place Ethical Society, entitled a Centenary History of…

Book Reviews

What Does Europe Want? The Union and Its Discontents

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Estimated 4 min read

By: Slavoj Žižek and Srećko Horvat (Istros books (2013) 220 pages, £12)

Review by: Mazin Zeki

A double Freudian quote inspired by “What does a woman want?” plus the title of one of his most important works, raises the curtain on Slavoj Žižek’s (and Srećko Horvat’s) dissection of contemporary European woes. For Europe read EU. There is growing inequality which predated the financial crash but has…

Book Reviews

Battling the Gods: Atheism in the Ancient World

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Estimated 1 min read

By: Tim Whitmarsh (Faber & Faber (2016))

Review by: Norman Bacrac

Tim Whitmarsh, Professor of Greek Culture at Cambridge, has compiled a most valuable record of atheist thought in the ancient world of Greece and Rome. Humanists need to know this early history – it will prevent their believing that supernatural explanations of the world and religious morality predated naturalist and…

Book Reviews

Islamic Fascism by Hamed Abdel-Samad

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Estimated 5 min read

By: Hamed Abdel-Samad ((New York: Prometheus Books, 2016, 255 pp.)

Review by: Rumy Hasan

During the parliamentary debate on 2nd December 2015 on the bombing of Islamic State targets in Syria, Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn made an impassioned speech in favour of the government’s motion. A key reason he provided was that Islamic State were “fascists and fascists must be defeated”. This was…

Book Reviews

THE CONSOLATIONS OF AUTUMN

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Estimated 1 min read

By: Hazhir Teimourian (Peach Publishing (2015))

Review by: Norman Bacrac

Radio, television and Times journalist Hazhir Teimourian gave the keynote speech at the Ethical Society’s Annual Reunion of Kindred Societies a few years ago; he has also spoken to the Society on Sunday mornings on the situation in the Middle East. In 1998, he gave four autobiographical talks on BBC…

Book Reviews

Breadline Britain – the return of mass poverty

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Estimated 1 min read

By: Stewart Lansley (with Joanna Mack) (Oneworld Publications (2015))

Review by: Tom Rubens

Stewart Lansley’s book Breadline Britain presents a concise and powerful analysis of the huge increase in economic inequality in Britain since the late 1970s. Today, the top 1% of the population possess a full 14% of national income. This is partly the result of the long-term decline in the share…

Book Reviews

The Athiest’s Guide to Reality: Enjoying Life without Illusions

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Estimated 2 min read

By: bAlex Rosenberg (W.W.Norton & Co, London (2012) 320pp)

Review by: Norman Bacrac

Alex Rosenberg, a Professor of Philosophy at Duke University and co-director of its Center for Philosophy of Biology, wrote the book for “Non-believers who embrace the reality-driven life.” It’s a book for “Atheists who want to face up to its consequences” – i.e. that “the physical facts fix all the…

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