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Reviews

"Weldon traces the history and evolution of the concept of humanism and the people who identified with it, and demonstrates how a new dimension is added to the received view of science and religion in America and its peculiar history. This is a history that both humanists and their antagonists often overlook or distort with mythologies. This book will be an important corrective."

"This is a terrific book, based on massive research, covering American humanism from the past to the present. It is a story that needed telling, and Stephen P. Weldon tells it so well. Above all, it is tremendously interesting. It is a perfect exemplar of its subject: human intelligence applied to important problems, yielding great understanding. Five-star rating!"

"Weldon provides a much-needed comprehensive history of American humanism that explodes the myth of a sharp dichotomy between science and religion. This admirable, deeply researched study reveals a complex social movement and a series of sometimes forgotten thinkers who creatively employed democratic ideals and moral values to address some of the most contentious issues in American life."

"The ever-growing historical literature on science and religion has tended to focus on the problems and challenges that modern science creates for Christians. In contrast, Weldon's engaging study shows how religious liberals, from Unitarians to atheists—especially secular humanists—have enthusiastically embraced the methods and ethos of science in the twentieth century."

"A fascinating and profound analysis of American society in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries from a completely new angle: the scientific spirit. Where others stop, Weldon continues, unraveling the history of humanism and the mechanisms of secularization. A page-turner of a high academic level, innovative, well balanced, and well written!"