This is the first volume in a 12-volume edition of the works of Robert G. Ingersoll. This edition was built from scratch from the 1902 Dresden Edition of Ingersoll's works, together with additional material gathered from the writings of Ingersoll's critics and contemporary magazine articles. It has been carefully curated for accuracy and quality.

Robert G. Ingersoll (1833-1899) was an American lawyer, orator and essayist. He was an avowed agnostic who brought a glowingly benevolent secular sense of life to bear on many issues, most frequently and most famously, his ringing celebrations of human liberty and achievement, and his rousing condemnations of religion. Ingersoll's lectures, interviews, articles, speeches, and courtroom addresses were collected after his death and published in a twelve-volume "Dresden Edition"; this ebook is an expanded and annotated version of the first volume of that set.

There is no better way to get a sense of the thought and rhetorical expression of Robert Ingersoll than by looking at a few excerpts. Here, for example, in his paean to intellectual freedom "The Liberty of Man, Woman and Child," he writes:

"Only a few years ago there was a great awakening of the human mind. Men began to inquire by what right a crowned robber made them work for him? The man who asked this question was called a traitor. Others asked by what right does a robed hypocrite rule my thought? Such men were called infidels. The priest said, and the king said, where is this spirit of investigation to stop? They said then and they say now, that it is dangerous for man to be free. I deny it. Out on the intellectual sea there is room enough for every sail. In the intellectual air there is space enough for every wing.

"The man who does not do his own thinking is a slave, and is a traitor to himself and to his fellow-men.

"Every man should stand under the blue and stars, under the infinite flag of nature, the peer of every other man.

"Standing in the presence of the Unknown, all have the same right to think, and all are equally interested in the great questions of origin and destiny. All I claim, all I plead for, is liberty of thought and expression."

This edition has been prepared with considerable care and attention. My OCR work was based not only on publically available book scans (scans that are in some cases incomplete or slightly out of focus), but also on my personal copy of the Dresden Edition. The basic OCR work was performed using commercial tools, but I then used a suite of software tools of my own design to clean up common kinds of OCR errors; for example, a proprietary spell-checker that iteratively builds and applies a private dictionary based on the entire Dresden text.

In addition to the textual and artwork contents of the Dresden Edition, I have incorporated additional material, including alternate texts. In this first volume, for example, I have added an appendix presenting an alternate version of Ingersoll's lecture on Thomas Paine, and a side-by-side comparison of the two versions.

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  • We started tracking this book on September 26, 2017.
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Additional Info

  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • Lending: Disabled
  • Print Length: 388 Pages
  • File Size: 1,439 KB

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