" Science is organized common sense where many a beautiful theory was killed by an ugly fact". - Thomas Huxley

Susan Jacoby

Susan Jacoby is an independent scholar whose work now focuses on American intellectual history, the author began her writing career as a reporter for The Washington Post.

Jacoby's Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism (2004), was hailed in The New York Times as an "ardent and insightful work" that "seeks to rescue a proud tradition from the indifference of posterity." Named a notable nonfiction book of 2004 by The Washington Post and The Los Angeles Times, Freethinkers was cited in England as one of the outstanding international books of the year by the Times Literary Supplement and The Guardian.

The author's previous books, include Moscow Conversations (1972), based on her experiences in Moscow from 1969 to 1971. Among her other books are Wild Justice: The Evolution of Revenge (Harper & Row), a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 1984, and Half-Jew: A Daughter's Search for Her Family's Buried Past (Scribner, 2000). Susan's latest book is The Age of American Unreason: Dumbing Down and the Future of Democracy.

Jacoby has been a contributor for more than 25 years, on topics including law, religion, medicine, aging, women's rights, political dissent in the Soviet Union, and Russian literature, to a wide range of periodicals and newspapers. Her articles and essays have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Washington Post Book World, Los Angeles Times Book Review, Newsday , Harper's, The Nation, Vogue, The American Prospect, Mother Jones, and the AARP Magazine, among other publications. They have been reprinted in numerous anthologies of columns and magazine articles.

She is also program director of the Center for Inquiry-New York City, a rationalist think tank and a regular panelist for On Faith, a Web site sponsored by The Washington Post and Newsweek. She also has her own political blog, The Secularist's Corner on the Web site of The Washington Post.

First broadcast on 7th November 2008.

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