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Ingersoll, Robert Green (1833-1899)

The following sources are recommended by a librarian whose research specialty is the American orator and agnostic Robert Green Ingersoll.


Six Superlative Sources

· Orvin P. Larson. American Infidel: Robert G. Ingersoll. Freedom from Religion Foundation, 1983; Citadel, 1962. The best biography.

· Robert Green Ingersoll. The Works of Robert G. Ingersoll. V. 1-4: Lectures; V. 5-7: Discussions; V. 8: Interviews; V. 9: Political; V. 10: Legal; V. 11: Miscellany; V. 12: Tributes and Miscellany. Kessinger Publishing, 2003; various other editions; Dresden Edition, C.P. Farrell, 1900. An invaluable source of Ingersoll's published work, this twelve-volume set includes his lectures, interviews, and miscellaneous writing.

· Robert Green Ingersoll: The Complete Works. Bank of Wisdom and Internet Infidels. This is the easiest way to gain access to Ingersoll's thoughts. It includes all of the 12-volume Dresden edition of his Works, cited above, and is also available from on CD-ROM. At a minimum, read his "Why I Am an Agnostic" to understand his thinking.

· Roger E. Greeley, ed. The Best of Robert Ingersoll: Selections from His Writings and Speeches. Prometheus Books, 1983. Previously published as Ingersoll: Immortal Infidel, Prometheus Books, 1977. This shorter anthology will do nicely for those with more casual interest.

· Eva I. Wakefield, ed. The Letters of Robert G. Ingersoll. Greenwood Press, 1973; Philosophical Library, 1951. Ingersoll was friends with, or intellectual opponent of, some of the best-known writers and thinkers of the late 19th Century. For that reason, his letters, edited by his daughter, are extremely interesting.

· Gordon Stein. Robert G. Ingersoll: A Checklist. Kent State University Press, 1969. A complete checklist of his writings.

Other Excellent Sources

· Frank Smith. Robert G. Ingersoll: A Life. Prometheus Books, 1990. Another biography.

· Cameron Rogers. Colonel Bob Ingersoll: A Biographical Narrative of the Great American Orator and Agnostic. Kessinger Publishing, 2003; Doubleday, Page, 1927. This older biography, written less than thirty years after his death, is interesting.

· Newton Baker. Robert G. Ingersoll: An Intimate View. C.P. Farrell, 1919. A reminiscence by someone who knew and loved Ingersoll.

· Herman E. Kittredge. A Biographical Appreciation of Robert Green Ingersoll. Dresden Publishing, 1911. This account by another friend of Ingersoll is particularly interesting, because it gives full exposition to Ingersoll's progressive social views about women, marriage, and children (though not his equally progressive views on labor and race).

· Robert Green Ingersoll. Ingersoll's Greatest Lectures: Containing Speeches and Addresses Never before Printed outside of the Complete Works. Truth Seeker, 1989; various other editions; Freethought Press Association, 1944.

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