As I have noted on my About page, I have volunteered for the Standard Ebooks project. One series of books that I wanted to do was the works of Robert Green Ingersoll (12 volumes). Unfortunately, these are outside of the collections policy of the project. As the tools for the project are open source, I decided to use them to create these books in the style of Standard Ebooks and publish them here on my site.
So, why was it important to me to publish these? As they are in the public domain in the US, they are freely available already at the Gutenberg Project. Unfortunately, they are not very well done. And why these books? In the late nineteenth century, prior to radio and movies, entertainment was always live—live music, theater, and lectures. This last group, lectures, is hard for us today to grasp. People actually went to hear people give talks on various subjects. This was a very popular form of entertainment. And Robert Green Ingersoll was a very famous and popular giver of lectures. He was known as the “Great Agnostic”, being openly opposed to religion and a fierce proponent of reason. He was also a close friend of Walt Whitman, delivering the eulogy at the poet’s funeral after his death in 1892.
After his own death in 1900, his brother-in-law collected his works and published them in twelve volumes. I have finished and published the first volume. You can download it on my Publications page. Be warned. Ingersoll is ruthless in his application of logic and reason to religion, and religion does not fare well in my opinion. If you are strongly religious, this book may offend you. But if you are open to examining your own beliefs, it may make you think in a fresh way about your spirituality. Regardless, it is an excellent way to dip your toes into the waters of one of the most well-known orators of the late nineteenth century.
My rating: 4/5