This was created for some Gale Publishing works around 2001.
Selected works from the John and Mary Franz Skeptics’ Library
The Outer Edge: Classic Investigations of the Paranormal edited by Joe Nickell, Barry Karr and Tom Genoni. Amherst, NY: Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal, 1996. The first book by the staff of the Skeptical Inquirer and a few of the most interesting cases that were investigated in their pages.
Bizarre Cases edited by Benjamin Radford Amherst, NY: Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal, 2000. This book takes another look at investigations from the pages of the Skeptical Inquirer.
Encyclopedia of the Paranormal edited by Gordon Stein. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 1996. This is one of the best works dealing with the skeptical view of the paranormal, recommended for all libraries.
How to Think About Weird Things: Critical Thinking for a New Age by Theodore Schick, Jr., Lewis Vaughn; forward by Martin Gardner. Mountain View, CA: Mayfield; 1999. An introduction of critical thinking, this work uses some basic language and ideas to help people understand how to use and apply critical thinking to all aspects of one’s life.
Pseudoscience and the Paranormal: A Critical Examination of the Evidence by Terence Hines. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1988. This work deals with irrational beliefs, all irrational beliefs.
Looking for a Miracle: Weeping Icons, Relics, Stigmata, Visions & Healing Cures by Joe Nickell. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 1998. Nickell discusses supposed miracles and offers rational scientific explanations for the different religious phenomena.
Ambrose Bierce is Missing and Other Historical Mysteries by Joe Nickell. Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky, 1992. Dr. Nickell uses forensic techniques to discuss cases of historical interest and authenticates artifacts like Daniel Boone rifles.
The Baby Train and Other Lusty Urban Legends by Jan Harold Brunvand. New York: W.W. Norton, 1993. Brunvand is a renowned expert on urban legends, and this is one of the best works, although any of his other works on these legends is good.
The Roving Mind by Isaac Asimov. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1983. A selection of essays from one of the most prolific science fiction writers, who was also known for his writings on science itself.
Carl Sagan: A Life by Keay Davidson. New York: Wiley, 1999. This work was partly researched at the Center for Inquiry and discusses Sagan’s life in detail.
UFOs: The Public Deceived by Philip J. Klass. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1983. Klass is a world-renowned investigator of UFO claims and he shows how the public is deceived by those who encourage belief in UFOs.
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark by Carl Sagan. New York: Random House, 1996. I recommend all Sagan books, but this is one of my favorites; Sagan was a CSICOP fellow.
The Psychic Mafia by M. Lamar Keene, as told to Allen Spraggett; with a foreword by William V. Rauscher. New York: Dell, 1977. This work blew the lid off the psychics at Camp Chesterfield, a spiritualist colony, and is one of the best works at showing how psychics could mislead people.
Encounters with the Paranormal: Science, Knowledge, and Belief edited by Kendrick Frazier. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 1998. Another work by the editor of the Skeptical Inquirer that was taken from some of the best cases investigated in its pages.
Alien Abductions: Creating the Modern Phenomenon: Focusing on the Popular Works of Budd Hopkins, John Fuller, Whitley Strieber, David Jacobs, John Mack and others by Terry Matheson. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 1998. Matheson looks at the cultural phenomenon of alien abductions and how this evolved from hypnotism and other pseudosciences.
The UFO Invasion: The Roswell Incident, Alien Abductions, and Government Cover-ups edited by Kendrick Frazier, Barry Karr and Joe Nickell. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 1997. This work consists of articles from the Skeptical Inquirer regarding UFO’s and the supposed cover-ups.
The Wreck of the Titanic Foretold? edited by Martin Gardner. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 1998. This work explains why the novella “Futility,” written by Morgan Robertson (which is included in this work) really was not a prophecy of the Titanic sinking and goes on to debunk all the paranormal claims that are associated with the Titanic.
The Day the Universe Changed by James Burke. Boston: Little, Brown, 1985. Burke shows the cascade of inventions and how one invention or discovery leads to many more.
Science Meets Alternative Medicine: What the Evidence Says About Unconventional Treatments edited by Wallace Sampson and Lewis Vaughn. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2000. Sampson and Vaughn show that there is no evidence to support the claims made by alternative medicine practitioners.
Flim-Flam! : Psychics, ESP, Unicorns, and Other Delusions by James Randi; introduction by Isaac Asimov. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1982. Randi looks at paranormal phenomena and asks why people believe these things.
The Psychology of the Psychic by David F. Marks. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2000. Marks looks at the psychological make up of psychics and what goes into the reasons they think they are psychic.
Entities: Angels, Spirits, Demons, and other Alien Beings by Joe Nickell. Amherst, NY: 1995. Dr. Nickell examines beings not of an earthly origin.
Mysterious Realms: Probing Paranormal, Historical, and Forensic Enigmas by Joe Nickell and John F. Fischer. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1992. Dr. Nickell uses forensic science to help explain mysteries both paranormal and historical.
Dumbth and 81 Ways to Make Americans Smarter by Steve Allen. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1989. Steve Allen on how to make people think more critically and live a life of examination.
Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology edited by J. Gordon Melton. Detroit: Gale Research Inc, 1996. This work is a combination of Nandor Fodor’s classic Encyclopedia of Psychic Science and An Encyclopedia of Occultism by Lewis Spence. Both works are invaluable for researchers in these areas.
Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition and Other Confusions of Our Time by Michael Shermer; foreword by Stephen Jay Gould. New York: W.W. Freeman, 1997. This work while not showing why people believe them, as the title indicates, shows the many weird beliefs that continue in today’s society.
Selected books from the James Hervey Johnson Freethought and Humanism Collection
Women Without Superstition: “No gods – No masters”: the Collected Writings of Women Freethinkers of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries by Annie Laurie Gaylor. Madison WI: Freedom From Religion Foundation, 1997. This is the premier biographical work of women Freethinkers. Short, concise biographies teamed with examples of their writings makes this work one of the best.
Encyclopedia of Unbelief by Gordon Stein, editor. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1985. Dr. Stein discusses the many areas of unbelief with articles on atheism, secular humanism, Freethought and rationalism. This work is a great reference work in a subject area that is largely ignored.
2000 Years of Disbelief: Famous People with the Courage to Doubt by James Haught. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 1996. This work contains quotes from many famous people on unbelief and what they think of religion.
Who’s Who in Hell: A Handbook and International Directory for Humanists, Freethinkers, Rationalists, and Non-theists by Warren Allen Smith. New York: Barricade books, 2000. This work shows the most prominent people of the past and present in the area of unbelief.
Humanist Anthology: From Confucius to Attenborough edited by Margaret Knight; revised by James Herrick; preface by Edward Blishen. Amherst, NY: Prometheus books, 1995. This revised edition brings together many writings about humanism from some of the world’s foremost thinkers of all time.
A Celebration of Humanism and Freethought compiled by David Allen Williams. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 1995. A work similar to the Humanist Anthology, it shows what different writers through history have said or written about irreligiousness.
Galactic Rapture by Tom Flynn. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2000. This fictional work is a black comedy showing the extremes of religion. Warning: Mormons will not like this work. Purchase this work from Amazon.com, or Prometheus Books directly.
Robert G. Ingersoll: A Life by Frank Smith. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1990. A biography of the brilliant nineteenth’century orator known as the “Great Agnostic” who was heard live by more people than any other speaker.
Embracing the Power of Humanism by Paul Kurtz. Lanham, MD: Rowan and Littlefield, 2000. This book argues that one does not need religion to be a moral person and does it in a way that does not denigrate those who believe in religion.
Faces in the Clouds: a New Theory of Religion by Stewart Elliott Guthrie. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993. Guthrie shows that anthropomorphism is the reason why religion and the belief in gods became a norm for early societies.
In Defense of Secular Humanism by Paul Kurtz. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1983. This is a compilation work of Kurtz’s writings responding to the attacks on Secular Humanism by such groups as the Moral Majority.
Deconstructing Jesus by Robert M. Price. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2000. Dr. Price argues against many of the myths that have become associated with Jesus. Price is a member of the Jesus Seminar.
The Constitution & Religion: Leading Supreme Court Cases on Church and State edited by Robert S. Alley. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 1999. Alley discusses the Supreme Court and cases that they have heard regarding the First Amendment and the separation of church and state. An excellent and balanced book.
The Presumption of Atheism, and Other Philosophical Essays on God, Freedom and Immortality by Anthony Flew. London: Elek for Pemberton, 1976. An intense philosophical work by one of the most influential writers of philosophy and belief in God.
The Necessity of Atheism, and Other Essays by Percy Bysshe Shelley. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus, 1993. This work written in the eighteenth century shows why atheism is necessary, and why it is a positive influence on society.
Atheism and Theism by J.J.C. Smart, J.J. Haldane. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell Publishers, 1996. A discussion of the philosophy of atheism versus theism.
Atheism: The Case Against God by George H. Smith. Los Angeles: Nash, c1974. Shows that the evidence against the existence of God is rather substantial.
Lead Us Not Into Penn Station: Provocative Pieces by Anne Nicol Gaylor. Madison, WI: Freedom From Religion Foundation, c1983. Written by the founder of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Gaylor’s work is a collection of pieces on atheism.