An Infidel Body-Snatcher and the Fruits of His Philosophy

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An Infidel Body-Snatcher and the Fruits of His Philosophy

The Life of Dr. Charles Knowlton

Authored by Dan Allosso
Edition: 1

An Infidel Body-Snatcher and the Fruits of His Philosophy is the story of a freethinker. Charles Knowlton called himself a “free enquirer”—his enemies called him an “Infidel.” Knowlton was also a “Body-Snatcher.” As a medical student, Charles Knowlton stole corpses to dissect. Charles was caught and convicted, and served time in jail.

After a troubled youth, Knowlton became a doctor and wrote America's first birth control book, Fruits of Philosophy, in 1831. He was convicted and imprisoned for that as well—this time with hard labor. Charles was an outsider for most of his life, fighting religious and social conformity. This is a true story about why outsiders are important, and what they can achieve.

Growing up surrounded by superstition and hypocrisy, Charles developed an unswerving dedication to finding and telling the truth. If the truth he’d found was opposed by authorities in the church and government, Charles went ahead and told it anyway. This is a true story about the power of integrity.

It’s also an adventure story, full of conflict, drama, humor, and a little horror. Charles Knowlton led an unusual life; it gave him a radical outlook and led him to develop a unique personal philosophy. But it was what Charles did with this outlook—the fruits of his philosophy—that really mattered. This is a true story about how experiences become ideas, and how ideas become actions.


"The prose is so smooth and conversational that the text sails on by. And what you're writing ABOUT is so valuable and timely that to make it as accessible as you do is a real service to our culture. If 'culture WAR' is an accurate description of what's going on, then this is powerful weapon for the good guys."

---Terry Davis, Author of Vision Quest

"Charles Knowlton, doctor, freethinker, and early advocate of contraception, is best remembered for his manual on birth control, ‘The Fruits of Philosophy’, which appeared in 1832 and which led to his prosecution and imprisonment. This superb biography of Knowlton by Dan Allosso, the first ever to be published, is based on the most thorough research and written with admirable clarity and understanding. This is a biography to be enjoyed by every lover of freethought."

---Bryan Niblett, Author of Dare to Stand Alone: The Story of Charles Bradlaugh

"This is really great. I love reading about my home town -- no one ever writes about Greenfield, Massachusetts. And I love the rich guy excommunicating the church. How hip is that?"

---Penn Jillette, Author of God, No!

"History isn’t always made by Great Persons engineering Great Compromises. Sometimes society moves forward because a common man or woman takes up a radical cause and pursues it without regard to consequences. Charles Knowlton was such a man, undeservedly ignored by mainstream historians. Dan Allosso’s capable new biography of Knowlton illuminates the promise – and the pitfalls – of radical social change pursued from society’s rank and file."

---Tom Flynn, Editor, FREE INQUIRY Magazine

"An interesting, engaging, and at times fascinating account of a little-known American hero. Dan Allosso has soundly crafted an excellent biography."

---Phil Zuckerman, PhD, Author of Faith No More: Why People Reject Religion

Publication Date:
1482678683 / 9781482678680
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
6" x 9"
Black and White
Related Categories:
Biography & Autobiography / Historical / General

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