"A noted author and activist brings his critical acumen and rhetorical skills to bear in this polemic against the dark side of religion. Unlike some popular works by stridently outspoken atheists, this is not a blanket condemnation of all believers. Rather the author's focus is the heartless exploitation of faithful followers by those in power, as well as sectarian intolerance, the violence against heretics and nonbelievers, and the reactionary political and economic collusion that has often prevailed between the upper echelons of church and state. Parenti notes the deleterious effects of past theocracies and the threat to our freedoms posed by present-day fundamentalists and theocratic reactionaries. He discusses how socially conscious and egalitarian minded liberal religionists have often been isolated and marginalized by their more conservative (and better financed) coreligionists. Finally, he documents the growing strength of secular freethinkers who are doing battle against the intolerant theocratic usurpers in public life.Historically anchored yet sharply focused on the contemporary scene, this eloquent indictment of religion's dangers will be welcomed by committed secular laypersons and progressive religionists alike."