In a groundbreaking historical work that focuses on the long, tense convergence of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam with an uncompromising secular perspective, Susan Jacoby illuminates the social and ecomic forces that have shaped individual faith and the voluntary conversion impulse that has changed the course of Western history--for better and for worse. Covering the triumph of Christianity over paganism in late antiquity, the Spanish Inquisition, John Calvin's dour theocracy, American plantations where African slaves had to accept their masters' religion--along with individual converts including Augustine of Hippo, John Donne, Edith Stein, Muhammad Ali, George W. Bush and Mike Pence--Strange Gods makes a powerful case that thing has been more important in struggle for reason than the right to believe in the God of one's choice or to reject belief in God altogether.
SUSAN JACOBY is the author of eleven previous books, most recently Never Say Die, The Great Agnostic: Robert Ingersoll and American Freethought, The Age of American Unreason, Alger Hiss and the Battle for History, Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism, and Half-Jew: A Daughter's Search for Her Family's Buried Past. Her articles have appeared frequently in the op-ed pages of The New York Times and in forums that include The American Prospect, Dissent, and The Daily Beast. She lives in New York City. For more information, visit www.susanjacoby.com.