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By Luis Granados

Twenty Who Changed the World

The power that comes from religious authority has been at the center of all human societies from time immemorial–but those claims of sovereignty have been disputed for just as long. In Damned Good Company: Twenty Rebels Who Bucked the God Experts, author Luis Granados explores twenty cases, from Socrates to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, of brave challenges against those claiming a special authority from God.

 

Damned Good Company is a book about people, not about God. People who have preached about God, taken money for sharing what they say they know about God, and ordered others about to enforce what they claim to be God’s will–and a small band of heroes who stood up to them.

 

In short, Damned Good Company is a Profiles in Courage for humanists.

 

Some of the twenty heroes of Damned Good Company are well-known: Erasmus, Voltaire, Thomas Paine, Clarence Darrow, Atatürk, Nehru, Steve Biko.  Others are not: people like Han Yü, banished from the ninth century Chinese court for questioning the worship of the Buddha’s finger, and Lucy Harris, who came within an inch of deflating Mormonism before it got off the ground.

 

Each hero is contrasted with a villain of his or her time and place: either a God expert like Martin Luther or Joseph Smith or a cynical politician like Mussolini, who never believed in God but exploited religion shamelessly to advance his political ambition.

 

The stories in Damned Good Company will inspire those today who want to stand up to the Christian Right, the Muslim fanatics, the oppressiveness of Catholic and Jewish orthodoxy, the rising Hindu Taliban, and everyone else who claims a God-given right to tell the rest of us what to do.

 

This enhanced ebook has been extensively researched, with over 1,100 footnotes. It takes full advantage of state-of-the-art features with over 100 pictures, online reader comments, linked videos, and hundreds of useful web links.

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Luis Granados is an attorney in Washington, DC, and a student of the scandals of religious history. He is also an editor of A Jefferson Bible for the Twenty-First Century, and is the director of the Humanist Press.

 

"a sweeping book filled with appealing tales of charismatic characters who fought for reason"

 

                                        Minnesota Atheists

 

"Damned Good Company is a damned good read!"

 

LibraryThing Early Reviewers

 

"We can all take pride in this extraordinary humanist heritage."

 

The Humanist

 

 

"Eye-opening battles between sectarian and secular. Wow!"

Luis Granados is co-editor of A Jefferson Bible for the 21st Century. Five years of archives of his God Experts blog are also available here.

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