Books and Such
Someone started a post a few weeks ago, and for some reason, I can't find it, so I'm just starting a new one with the same idea.
I think it's a great idea to share ideas about books (or tv shows, or whatever) that had a big impact on our lives as atheists. I'm going to mention one of mine, and I hope that we can keep this thread alive for a while... there's so much good material out there, and as much as we encourage people to read and study for themselves, I think it's great from time to time to make sure that we are keeping up our own reading!
Anyway, my field of interest is mostly in sociology/psychology, and a book that literally changed the way I think about Christians and Republicans is called "The Authoritarian Specter" by Robert Altmeyer. He's a well know, well respected, and oft-published professor whose research has more than once changed the sociology landscape. In this book he deals with the authoritarian personality, systematically isolating and describing it, and then examining the social impact of authoritarianism from the ground up. If you read this book all the way through, you will have a brand new understanding of American Fundamentalism, and Neo-Con politics, and will most likely have a deeper appreciation for the danger posed to the entire world by allowing people like them to have too much control.
A good follow up to that is called "Conservatives without Conscience" an obvious play on "The Conscience of a Conservative," the groundbreaking work by Barry Goldwater detailing Conservative philosophy. CwC was inspired by Altmeyer's book, and makes reference to it often. It's basically a layman's book, filling in the gaps that Altmeyer leaves to maintain his professional neutrality.
Anyway, what are your favorite science/atheist books, and why?