The Philosophy of Humanism, by Corliss Lamont (Unger Publishing Co.). Widely considered the leading book on the Humanist philosophy.
The Age of Reason, by Thomas Paine (Citadel Press). An American Revolutionary War patriot’s classic refutation of the Bible and Christianity.
The Best of Robert Ingersoll, edited by Roger Greeley (Prometheus Books). A good introduction to the life and views of America’s foremost Humanist advocate of the 19th century.
Holy Horrors, by James Haught (Prometheus Books). Describes in a highly readable manner much of the violence, intolerance, and hatred caused by religion in history.
Holy Hatred, by James Haught (Prometheus Books). Another clear description of violence, persecution, and hatred incited by religion. This one focuses on various parts of the world in the 1990s.
2000 Years of Disbelief, by James Haught (Prometheus Books). Brief biographical accounts of many famous persons, both historical and current, who rejected traditional religions. Provides numerous excellent quotes from them.
The End of Faith, by Sam Harris (W. W. Norton & Company). Shows that holding beliefs without evidence caused enormous harm and misery throughout history, continues to produce terrorism and many other evils today, and threatens the survival of civilization. It compellingly argues that beliefs based only on “faith” must lose their respectability and be considered foolish and dangerous.
Letter to a Christian Nation, by Sam Harris (Alfred A. Knopf). A short but powerful book about irrational religious beliefs and the resulting harms to modern American society.
Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism, by Susan Jacoby (Metropolitan Books). Recounts the strong influence that humanistic thought had on the founding and development of the U.S.
The Encyclopedia of Biblical Errancy, by C. Dennis McKinsey (Prometheus Books). An extremely thorough exposé and analysis of the errors, contradictions, and fallacies in the Bible. Also does a highly commendable job of pointing out and refuting the arguments of today’s leading biblical apologists.
Through Atheist Eyes: Scenes from a World That Won’t Reason, Volumes I through IV, by Frank R. Zindler (American Atheist Press). A longtime atheist leader and debater shares much excellent information about religious criticism, the evolution-creation controversy, and many other topics relating to atheism. A great source of ammunition for arguing against religion.
The Born-Again Skeptic’s Guide to the Bible, by Ruth Hurmence Green (Freedom From Religion Foundation). A Missouri grandmother debunks the Bible in a delightful manner.
Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America’s Leading Atheists, by Dan Barker (Ulysses Press). Barker describes his journey from Christian fundamentalism to freethought activism, and gives many reasons for rejecting religion. This book is a challenge to believers and an arsenal for skeptics.
Women Without Superstition, edited by Annie Laurie Gaylor (Freedom From Religion Foundation). Collected writings of women freethinkers of the 19th and 20th centuries. Along with many other cogent arguments against religion, the book highlights particularly the harms religion has caused to women.
The Seven Mighty Blows to Traditional Beliefs, by A. J. Mattill, Jr. (Flatwoods Free Press). These mighty blows, delivered by a former Bible-college professor, completely demolish traditional religious views.
Divinity of Doubt, by Vincent Bugliosi (Vanguard Press). A former prosecuting attorney criticizes both theism and atheism in making a strong case for agnosticism.
A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom, by Andrew D. White (Prometheus Books). A timeless exposition of Christianity’s rabid opposition to science throughout the centuries and the resulting harms to humanity.
Deadly Doctrine, by Wendell Watters, M.D. (Prometheus Books). A psychiatrist shows the devastating effects that Christian indoctrination can have on mental and emotional health.
The Final Superstition, by Joseph Daleiden (Prometheus Books). A superb critical evaluation and denunciation of the Judeo-Christian legacy.
Atheism: The Case Against God, by George H. Smith (Prometheus Books). A great introduction to atheist philosophy.
Crime and Immorality in the Catholic Church, by Emmett McLoughlin (Lyle Stuart). A former Catholic priest describes corruption in the Catholic Church and the misery produced in people’s lives when they take Catholic doctrines to heart.
Why the Religious Right Is Wrong About Separation of Church & State, by Robert Boston (Prometheus Books). Confutes the Religious Right’s allegations that the U.S. is a Christian nation and that church-state separation is a myth.
Religious Liberty and the Secular State, by John M. Swomley (Prometheus Books). A concise and first-rate discussion of the history, meaning, and importance of the U.S. Constitution’s requirement of church-state separation.
America Declares Independence, by Alan Dershowitz (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.) Demonstrates that the writers of the Declaration of Independence had no intention of establishing a Christian nation.
The Great Quotations on Religious Freedom, compiled by Albert J. Menendez and Edd Doerr (Centerline Press). Quotations supporting church-state separation from political leaders, courts, scholars, religious groups, and others.
Evolution vs. Creationism
Dictionary of Science & Creationism, by Ronald Ecker (Prometheus Books). A succinct and very readable explanation of the terms and issues in the evolution/creationism debate.
The Top 10 Myths About Evolution, by Cameron M. Smith and Charles Sullivan (Prometheus Books). Clearly and concisely debunks myths about evolution spread by creationists and others.
What’s a Nice Republican Girl Like Me Doing in the ACLU? by Sheila Suess Kennedy (Prometheus Books). Shows that the American Civil Liberties Union’s strong defense of the Bill of Rights is consistent not only with liberals’ support for individual freedom but also with conservatives’ distrust of government.
Ain’t Nobody’s Business If You Do: The Absurdity of Consensual Crimes in a Free Society, by Peter McWilliams (Prelude Press). A strong case for legalizing the freedom to do what one wants as long as others aren’t harmed.
23 Things They Don’t Tell You about Capitalism, by Ha-Joon Chang (Bloomsbury Press). Shows that a capitalist economy regulated in the public interest is far superior to free-market capitalism.
The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger, by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett (Bloomsbury Press). Provides a large amount of data showing that numerous social problems result from extreme economic inequality in societies.
How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie (Simon &
Benjamin Franklin Autobiography (Oxford University Press).
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, by Richard Carlson (Hyperion).
How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, by Dale Carnegie (Simon & Schuster).
Improving Occupational Performance
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen R. Covey (Simon & Schuster).
The Business Bible, by Wayne Dosick (HarperCollins).