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Peoria's forgotten "Great Agnostic" getting some attention

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He was revered by a diverse group of people, from Abraham Lincoln (who encouraged him to run for president) to Christopher Hitchens (who quoted him extensively), but yet he is utterly unknown to many people -- even those in his hometown.

Yes, Robert G. Ingersoll was a well-known orator the country over during his heyday in the 1800s and he called Peoria home. What made Ingersoll so famous was his staunch agnosticism (or atheism) and his flowery language back in the day when public speakers were considered entertainers. And now a new book, entitled "The Great Agnostic: Robert Ingersoll and American Freethought" by Susan Jacoby, hopes to revive interest in the leader of what is considered America's Golden Age of Freethought. Read about it in the New York Times.


About the Author
A Juilliard-trained writer, Kevin Kizer has fought against numerous world-champion writers during his career, besting the reigning middle weight writing champion in an exhibition bout in Helsinki in 1976. He also played a crucial role on the U.S. gold-medal winning writing team during the 1984 Pan-Am games, where he came off the bench in dramatic fashion to write the winning prepositional phrase just as time expired.