ABOUT

Susan Jacoby is an independent scholar specializing in the history of reason, atheism, secularism, and religious liberty—though she has just written a new and very different book, Why Baseball Matters, to be published by Yale University Press in April 2018. This will be her twelfth book.

Jacoby’s best-known books include Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism (Metropolitan Books, 2004), hailed in The New York Times as an “ardent and insightful work” that “seeks to rescue a proud tradition from the indifference of posterity” and The Age of American Unreason (Pantheon, 2008), a New York Times bestseller praised by Richard Dawkins as a “luminously clear” work in which the author “reaches out to welcome all who would share in her elevated vision of the way our culture could be—and is not.”

A new paperback edition of The Age of American Unreason will be issued in January by Vintage Books under the title The Age of American Unreason in a Culture of Lies. In this book, Jacoby explores the ways in which many of the trends she analyzed in 2008—from a public attention span shortened by social media to an education system that downgrades the importance of science and logical thinking—contributed to the election of President Donald Trump in 2016.

Jacoby began her writing career as a reporter for The Washington Post. Her first book, Moscow Conversations (1972) was based on the articles she contributed to the Post from Moscow between 1969 and 1971. Other works include Wild Justice: The Evolution of Revenge, a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 1984, and The Possible She (1979).

Jacoby’s reviews, articles and essays have appeared in a wide variety of national publications, including The New York Times, The American Prospect, Dissent, the Los Angeles Times Book Review, the Washington Post Book Review, the AARP Magazine, and The Daily Beast. (Click here for select links.) She has been the recipient of many grants and awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Guggenheim, Rockefeller and Ford Foundations. In 2001 she was named a fellow of the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library.

Susan Jacoby is a member of the honorary boards of the Freedom from Religion Foundation and the Center for Inquiry, a secular think tank. She lives in New York City.

©2016 Susan Jacoby, all rights reserved