In 1743, Ben Franklin made the case that it was time for colonists to give more thought to improving the lot of all of humankind through collaborative inquiry. From that call-to-action came an association dedicated to harnessing intellectual and creativity powers for the common good, the American Philosophical Society. Jonathan Lyons tells the story in a new book titled The Society for Useful Knowledge: How Benjamin Franklin and Friends Brought the Enlightenment to America.
Then, motherless at the age of two, Alysia Abbott lived with her bisexual father in the aftermath of San Francisco’s Stonewall riots. She recounts her unique adolescence in a new book titled Fairyland: A Memoir of My Father. [Broadcast Date: July 2, 2013]