Ray Argyle, "Inventing Secularism: The Radical Life of George Jacob Holyoake" (McFarland, 2021)

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Inventing Secularism: The Radical Life of George Jacob Holyoake (McFarland, 2021), by Ray Argyle is the first modern biography of the founder of Secularism, describing a transformative figure whose controversial and conflict-filled life helped shape the modern world. Jailed for atheism and disowned by his family, Holyoake came out of an English prison at the age of 25 determined to bring an end to religion’s control over daily life. Ever on the front lines of social reform, Holyoake has been hailed for having won “the freedoms we take for granted today.” With Secularism again under siege, Argyle argues that Holyoake’s vision of a “virtuous society” rings today with renewed clarity.

Ray Argyle is the author of eleven books, including five biographies, three political histories, a memoir, and a novel of Victorian Canada. He’s worked as a journalist, a publishing executive, and a communications consultant, with articles appearing in Canada’s major newspapers, as well as magazines such as Reader’s Digest, France Today, and World War II History. Having grown up in British Columbia, he is now based in Canada’s province of Ontario.

Carrie Lynn Evans is a PhD student at Université Laval in Quebec City. carrie-lynn.evans@lit.ulaval.ca

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