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Atheists in American Politics


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Table of Contents

Introduction Part I 1."Our Hands Are Tied": Atheism's (So-Called) Golden Age 2."One-Man Organizations": Post-War Freethought Societies 3."An Action Organization": Repertoires and Political Organizing Part II 4."This Godless Communism": Discourses and Rights Claims 5."The Friendly Atheist": Organizing Online to Offline 6."Make Politicians Take Notice": Secular Lobbying in Washington Conclusion

About the Author

Richard J. Meagher is associate professor of political science and director of social entrepreneurship at Randolph-Macon College.


Richard Meagher shines an illuminating light on the persistence of a current of atheism in American political thought, a current we usually ignore in this hyper-religious nation. -- Frances Fox Piven, Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Sociology, CUNY
This is a great work on the past, present, and future of atheist organizing and politics in the U.S. It does a terrific job of tracing how this diffuse movement has, on one hand, gained a good deal of political and social capital in the last two decades, but, on the other hand, has been dogged by consistent problems of infighting and, until very recently, lack of resources. -- Richard Cimino, coauthor of Atheist Awakening: Secular Activism and Community in America
In clear and direct prose, Meagher takes the reader through significant developments in the history of "freethinking" in the United States, analyzing the opportunities and constraints faced by atheists as their movement waxed, waned and grew again over the course of the 20th century and into the 21st. His attention to the movement's leading publications, from magazines to best sellers to the blogosphere, as well as the political context in which they circulate, enables Meagher to account for the shifting identities and new political orientations created by atheist communities in the United States. This volume should serve as an essential primer for all audiences-students as well as the general public-who are interested in not just how and why the New Atheist movement has grown in recent years, but how and why social movements in general grow and gain traction. -- Penny Lewis, CUNY

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