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Atheists, Agnostics, and Deists in America: A Brief History

Peter M. Rinaldo

When did atheism first appear in America? Why did many of the Founding Fathers become deists? Are atheism and deism a threat to the Christian, Jewish, and Moslem religions?

The book not only attempts to answer these questions, but also explores the influence of such philosophers as Epicurus, Marcus Aurelius and Voltaire on American leaders. You will meet not only Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Ingersoll, and Clarence Darrow, but also Fanny Wright, an atheist whom Thomas Jefferson invited to Monticello and Andrew Jackson invited to the Hermitage.

Finally, the book examines why atheism has never become more than a fringe belief in this country, as contrasted with much greater popularity in Europe, and whether it will have more influence in future years.

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