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Jennifer Michael Hecht is a poet, a historian, a philosopher and a commentator. Her bestseller Doubt: A History is the story of philosophical and religious doubt. Hecht’s The End of the Soul: Scientific Modernity, Atheism, and Anthropology won the Phi Beta Kappa Society’s 2004 Ralph Waldo Emerson Award “for scholarly studies that contribute significantly to interpretations of the intellectual and cultural condition of humanity.” The Happiness Myth brings a skeptical eye to modern wisdom about the good life. Her latest book, Stay: the History of Suicide and the Philosophies Against It, came out with Yale University Press in November 2013.

Hecht’s poetry books are The Next Ancient World which won three national poetry awards; Funny which Publisher’s Weekly called “one of the most original and entertaining books of the year”; and Who Said, which came out with Copper Canyon Press in November 2013.

She has appeared on Hardball MSNBC, HuffPost Live, the Discovery Channel, The Morning Show, and on radio: All Things Considered (forthcoming), several BBC radio shows, The Brian Lehrer Show, The Leonard Lopate Show, On Being with Krista Tippett, and others. She has written for The New York Times, The New Yorker, Politico Magazine, The Boston Globe, The Philadelphia Inquirer, American Scholar, and The Washington Post. 

Hecht served as a judge for the Nonfiction National Book Award 2010. She earned her Ph.D. in the History of Science and European Cultural History from Columbia University in 1995,  and has taught in The Graduate Writing Program of The New School and Columbia University. 


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