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Random House Publishing Group, Spring 2019

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A Human History
By (author): Reza Aslan
9780553394740 Paperback, Trade English General Trade RELIGION / History Apr 09, 2019
$24.00 CAD
Active 5.16 x 7.99 x 0.67 in 320 pages 18 BLACK-&-WHITE PHOTOGRAPHS Random House Trade Paperback Random House Trade Paperbacks
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER. The bestselling author of Zealot and host of Believer explores humanity’s quest to make sense of the divine in this concise and fascinating history of our understanding of God.

In Zealot, Reza Aslan replaced the well-worn portrayal of Jesus of Nazareth with a startling new image of the man in all his contradictions. In God, Aslan takes on a subject even more immense: God, writ large.

With layered prose and thoughtful, accessible scholarship, Aslan narrates the history of religion as one long and remarkably cohesive attempt to understand the divine by giving it human traits and emotions. As Aslan writes, “whether we are aware of it or not, and regardless of whether we are believers or not, what the vast majority of us think about when we think about God is a divine version of ourselves.” But this projection is not without consequences. We bestow upon God not just all that is good in human nature—our compassion, our thirst for justice—but all that is bad in it: our greed, our bigotry, and our penchant for violence. All of these qualities inform our religions, cultures, and governments. More than just a history of our understanding of God, this book is an attempt to get to the root of this humanizing impulse in order to develop a more peaceful, universal spirituality. God is an impassioned call to clear the decks, to rid God of the human frailties we’ve layered on him over the ages and allow ourselves to hope for a more expansive divinity.

Publication History: Random House HC (11/17)


NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER AND INTERNATIONALLY BESTSELLING AUTHOR: God, Zealot and No god but God have all been bestsellers. No god but God has been translated into thirteen languages.

Reza has spent his career asking DIFFICULT QUESTIONS about the role of religion in our lives, and he takes nothing for granted as he explores the earliest stirrings of religious feeling.

At a time when historical discussions and understandings of religion are reaching international flash points, this unique book SHEDS NEW LIGHT ON THE ENIGMATIC HISTORY OF BELIEF.


Dr. Reza Aslan is an internationally acclaimed writer and scholar of religions. His first book, No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam, was an international bestseller and has been translated into thirteen languages and named by Blackwell as one of the hundred most important books of the last decade. He is also the author of How to Win a Cosmic War: God, Globalization and the End of the War on Terror (published in paperback as Beyond Fundamentalism), as well as the editor for Tablet & Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East. He is also the founder of Aslan Media, a company devoted to creating forums and encouraging discourse about the Greater Middle East. Born in Iran, he now lives in Los Angeles, where he is an associate professor of creative writing at the University of California, Riverside.

Author Residence: Los Angeles, CA

Author Hometown: Tehran, Iran

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Publicity: New in paperback

“Timely, riveting, enlightening and necessary.”HuffPost

“Tantalizing…Driven by [Reza] Aslan’s grace and curiosity, God…helps us pan out from our troubled times, while asking us to consider a more expansive view of the divine in contemporary life.”—The Seattle Times

“A fascinating exploration of the interaction of our humanity and God.”Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“[Reza Aslan’s] slim, yet ambitious book [is] the story of how humans have created God with a capital G, and it’s thoroughly mind-blowing.”—Los Angeles Review of Books

“Aslan is a born storyteller, and there is much to enjoy in this intelligent survey.”San Francisco Chronicle

“Extraordinary…clear, concise [and] lively.”—The Spectator

“Breathtaking in its scope and controversial in its claims, God: A Human History shows how humans from time immemorial have made God in their own image, and argues that they should now stop. Writing with all the verve and brilliance we have come to expect from his pen, Reza Aslan has once more produced a book that will prompt reflection and shatter assumptions.”—Bart D. Ehrman, author of How Jesus Became God

“Reza Aslan offers so much to relish in his excellent ‘human history’ of God. In tracing the commonalities that unite religions, Aslan makes truly challenging arguments that believers in many traditions will want to mull over, and to explore further. This rewarding book is very ambitious in its scope, and it is thoroughly grounded in an impressive body of reading and research.”—Philip Jenkins, author of Crucible of Faith

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