Ingersoll was a notorious radical whose uncompromising views on religion and slavery (they were bad, in his opinion), women's suffrage (a good idea, he believed), and other contentious matters of his era made him a wildly popular orator and critic of 19th-century American culture and public life.
In celebration of this great politician, veteran, and lawyer's birthday, Cosimo has highlighted some of his greatest works:
Some Mistakes of Moses
First published in 1879, this audaciously titled volume is a collection of short essays challenging the concept of biblical inerrancy. Focusing on the first five books of the Bible, once popularly believed to have been written by Moses, Ingersoll highlights the savageries, absurdities, injustices, and scientific inaccuracies of the writings considered noble and true by so many. As enjoyable a read as it is a provocative one, this is the lost classic of a true American original.
Considered in their day some of the finest gems of oratory, these lectures by Ingersoll feature some of his most entertaining and most insightful yet lesser known talks, including: "Eulogy on Abraham Lincoln," "Grand Future of America," "Best Portion of the Earth," "Getting Up Early in the Morning," "The Fashions and Handsome Women," "What the Railroads Have Done," "How a Man Should Treat His Wife and Children" and many more.
Ingersoll published this lecture in 1894, a stirring tribute to the honesty, courage, and genius of a beloved leader at a time when his life and works were still within living memory. Focusing in particular on Lincoln's abhorrence of slavery and his work to defeat it as a national institution, Ingersoll offers readers today an invaluable perspective on the great President from the era immediately after his own, when his legend was being cemented in the American imagination.
As a speaker dedicated to expanding intellectual horizons and celebrating the value of skepticism, Ingersoll spoke frequently on such topics as atheism, freedom from the pressures of conformity, and the lives of philosophers who espoused such concepts. This collection of his most famous speeches includes the lectures: "The Gods" (1872), "Humboldt" (1869), "Thomas Paine" (1870), "Individuality" (1873), and "Heretics and Heresies" (1874).