“[The] story of atheism as an articulate movement. We learn an enormous amount about figures censored out of history, and about the persecution that freethinkers suffered until shockingly recently. His martyrs fill our hearts; his heroes inspire….moving.”
—The New Yorker
“Stephens provides an intriguing take on a topic that has sparked much discussion and will surely spark more to come.”
“Provocative, deeply researched and enlightening.”
"The only thing new about the New Atheists are the names. As Mitchell Stephens reveals in this gripping narrative history of atheism, many brave souls have come out of the atheist closet over the centuries to challenge the religious dogma of their day, and many paid the ultimate price for so doing. We all stand on the shoulders of these giants so artfully brought to life—along with their ideas—in this important contribution to the burgeoning literature on unbelief."
—Michael Shermer, Publisher of Skeptic magazine, monthly columnist for Scientific American, and author of The Believing Brain, and The Science of Good and Evil
“An intriguing book, presenting a magnificent cast of characters who helped shape modernity. It helps us all measure even those we disagree with most in terms of their creativity and moral worth rather than what they do, or do not, believe.”
—Jonathan Israel, Professor of History, Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton University
“Imagine There’s No Heaven is a landmark study of the role played by atheism and other forms of religious doubt in the development of Western civilization. Mitchell Stephens strides through history as deftly as he steps across disciplines, uncovering a dramatic chronicle of unbelief as a goad to innovation that centuries of more devout scholarship tended to obscure. This book invites atheists to celebrate — and others to acknowledge — the outsized role that unbelievers have played in shaping the West.”
—Tom Flynn, editor of Free Inquiry magazine, and editor, The New Encyclopedia of Unbelief
"Mitchell Stephens’ new book “Imagine There’s No Heaven” is smart, evenhanded, and full of personality. He has a great eye for the important details, which is particularly evident in his evocative portraits of individuals, such as Sartre and Camus. Deserves to be on every skeptic’s bookshelf and we can hope it reaches many among the faithful as well."
—Jennifer Michael Hecht, author of Doubt: A History.