From celebrated historian of knowledge Jonathan Lyons comes The Society for Useful Knowledge, telling the story of America's coming-of-age through its historic love affair with practical invention, applied science, and self-reliance. Lyons illustrates how a social movement in support of useful knowledge is key to understanding the flow of American history and the development of our society and culture from colonial times to our digital present.
Here is the remarkable story of how medieval Arab scholars made dazzling advances in science and philosophy, and of the itinerant Europeans who brought this knowledge back to the West. For centuries following the fall of Rome, Western Europe was a benighted backwater, a world of subsistence farming, minimal literacy, and violent conflict. Meanwhile, Arab culture was thriving, dazzling those Europeans fortunate enough to catch even a glimpse.