The End of the Soul: Scientific Modernity, Atheism, And Anthropology in France, 1876–1936 by Jennifer Michael Hecht was published in 2003 by Columbia University Press. It tells how a group of leading French citizens, men and women included, joined together to form an unusual group, The Society of Mutual Autopsy, with the aim of proving that souls do not exist. The idea was that, after death, they would dissect each other and (hopefully) show a direct relationship between brain shapes and sizes and the character, abilities and intelligence of individuals. The book argues that this strange scientific pact, and anthropology itself, which the group's members helped to develop, had its genesis in aggressive, evangelical atheism.
acid free paper, archival ink, matte finish