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Featured Book: The God Delusion

When Penguin issued the 10th anniversary edition of The God Delusion, the publishing house began its pitch by recalling how the book had “caused a sensation” when it was first released. In its critique, The Guardian, referencing its author, Richard Dawkins, reckoned that “believers in God are right to see him as their arch-enemy.” The Darwinian scientist and essayist on popular science, in “dissecting the arguments for the existence of God”—this is reviewer Joan Bakewell’s take—“comes roaring forth in the full vigour of his powerful arguments….” She explains, “He is an out-and-out atheist, and this is his testimony.”
 
This seems to have caught Publishers Weekly off guard: “For a scientist who criticizes religion for its intolerance, Dawkins [at Oxford University, he’s Charles Simonyi Professor of Public Understanding of Science] has written a surprisingly intolerant book, full of scorn for religion and those who believe.” It points out how he “insists that religion is a divisive and oppressive force….” What he has produced in this book is what the British Columbia publication, The Tyee, calls “a most impassioned, endearing, articulate, and heartening secular-humanist call to arms.” Bakewell concludes her review with this presumption: “…it will, I trust, offend many.” 
 
The God Delusion, by Richard Dawkins
Houghton Mifflin, 2006
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