Publisher's Note

This book is based on two talks by Bob Avakian, one in 2004, entitled "God Does Not Exist—We Need Liberation Without Gods"; and a more recent talk, "Communism and Religion:  Getting Up and Getting Free—Making Revolution to Change the Real World, Not Relying on Things Unseen," (part of 7 Talks given by Avakian in 2006). For the purposes of publishing this as a book, the texts of the two talks have been combined (along with the text of a portion of the remarks by the author at the conclusion of the 7 Talks in 2006).  This involved a significant amount of editing on the part of the author—rearranging parts of the combined text, rewriting certain passages to effect smoother transitions and greater continuity and clarity, and removing redundancy where it did not seem helpful.  In addition to citations for material quoted or referenced (most of which is included within the body of the text), footnotes have been added by the author to further clarify and in some cases to elaborate on certain points.

At the same time, while what is published here is a written text (and while it is not possible to reproduce in this form the effect in the places where, in the course of these talks, Avakian sings lines from a song or enacts a comedy routine), an effort has been made to retain not only the essential content and substance but also, as much as possible, the style and flavor of the original, spoken material (including by indicating, in brackets within the text, the responses of the audience at various points).  On the whole we believe the result, as with Bob Avakian's talks and writings in general, is a work that is both substantial and lively, controversial and challenging—combining, to paraphrase a passage in another book by Avakian, a solemn sense of purpose with a lively and penetrating sense of humor.

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