The Society of Useful Knowledge

The Society for Useful Knowledge                       
How Benjamin Franklin and Friends
 Brought the Enlightenment to America 

Jonathon Lyons
Posted: July 27, 2013

The Society for Useful Knowledge: How Benjamin Franklin and Friends Brought the Enlightenment to AmericaBenjamin Franklin and his contemporaries brought the Enlightenment to America--an intellectual revolution that laid the foundation for the political one that followed. With the "first Drudgery" of settling the American colonies now well and truly past, Franklin announced in 1743, it was high time that the colonists set about improving the lot of humankind through collaborative inquiry. From Franklin's idea emerged the American Philosophical Society, an association hosted in Philadelphia and dedicated to the harnessing of man's intellectual and creative powers for the common good. The animus behind the Society was and is a disarmingly simple one-that the value of knowledge is directly proportional to its utility. This straightforward idea has left a profound mark on American society and culture and on the very idea of America itself-and through America, on the world as a whole.

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. Offering fresh, original portraits of figures like Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Rush, and the inimitable, endlessly inventive Franklin, Lyons gives us vital new perspective on the American founding. He illustrates how the movement for useful knowledge is key to understanding the flow of American society and culture from colonial times to our digital present.


Really liked this book. It was filled with a lot of information about the history of our country before the revolution. One of the topics is how Benjamin Franklin along with a couple of other men. Thought that a new type of school should be started. One that focused on English, reading, math and then at some point history, astronomy. He also thought that a school should also teach trade works, glass making, printing, leather making, wood working etc. He felt along with some other men that this would free up the colonies from Britain. This was 20 years before the war. Once the school came into place a he had a set of guide lines and came up with an elected board from the area. He still felt there should be some type of control. His main ideas were to have no teaching of classics, Latin, Greek, for example. That middle class and lower would be provided free education. This worked for a short time for after he got this started he was given an award from a college in Germany and another one in France. For his work in science, (electricity). By the time he came back the school was changed by the board, to teaching the classics and not teaching the middle class. He wrote about the waste the students will learn nothing that will be useful for them to grow, build, or make things. His whole ideas were taken over and his friends who also thought liked he did had passed on. He still saw that the colonies were too dependent on England and encourage people to start making their own items. By the time the war started there was a company making cloths, a few ship builders, one company working on gun powder, and of more tools were being made. So they did not have to pay taxes, or duties. Which he wrote to people is another tax. I could still go on but you should read this book. It is a book that should be used in school.

The Family Corleone

Posted: July 27, 2013

The Family CorleoneNew York, 1933. The city and the nation are in the depths of the Great Depression. The crime families of New York have prospered in this time, but with the coming end of Prohibition, a battle is looming that will determine which organizations will rise and which will face a violent end.
For Vito Corleone, nothing is more important that his family's future. While his youngest children, Michael, Fredo, and Connie, are in school, unaware of their father's true occupation, and his adopted son Tom Hagen is a college student, he worries most about Sonny, his eldest child. Vito pushes Sonny to be a businessman, but Sonny-17 years-old, impatient and reckless-wants something else: To follow in his father's footsteps and become a part of the real family business.
An exhilarating and profound novel of tradition and violence, of loyalty and betrayal, The Family Corleone will appeal to the legions of fans who can never get enough of The Godfather, as well as introduce it to a whole new generation.


Really liked this book. The author tells the story of mostly Sonny, and how he got into the family business. Most of the other characters from the book the God Father are in the story as well. The author Ed Falco did a good job staying true to the story from the book. Taking you up to Sonny getting married. There is a lot of action and family story lines. I also liked the fact that he used Arthur Avenue in the Bronx. For me that helped the story along a little better, not that it needed any help. I just liked that touch. A good story.

Son's Of Westwood

Posted: July 27, 2013

The Sons of Westwood: John Wooden, UCLA, and the Dynasty That Changed College BasketballFor more than a decade, the UCLA dynasty defined college basketball. In twelve seasons from 1964 to 1975, John Wooden's teams won ten national titles, including seven consecutive championships. The Bruins made history by breaking numerous records, but they also rose to prominence during a turbulent age of political unrest and youthful liberation. When Lew Alcindor and Bill Walton--the most famous college basketball players of their generation--spoke out against racism, poverty, and the Vietnam War, they carved out a new role for athletes, casting their actions on and off the court in a political light.

The Sons of Westwood tells the story of the most significant college basketball program at a pivotal period in American cultural history. It weaves together a story of sports and politics in an era of social and cultural upheaval, a time when college students and college athletes joined the civil rights movement, demonstrated against the Vietnam War, and rejected the dominant Cold War culture. This is the story of America's culture wars played out on the basketball court by some of college basketball's most famous players and its most memorable coach.


This was a good story about UCLA Basketball.  The beginnings and about John Wooden.  Who is always responsible for their success?   Part of the story I have read in other books.  The author takes us through the time from when Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) was there and the protests that he and other players did on campus.  How Kareem thought about leaving UCLA and going back home to New York.  He also spoke about how there was, two set of rules that the players who did not start felt there were more rules for them than the starters.  This all came to a head at a year-end banquet when the young man got up and spoke his peace.  He then brings up an asst. coach Norman Sherry who also was a player at UCLA in the 1950’s.  He left after UCLA won their 4th NCAA title, but he left coaching altogether.  He got into a job where he could make more money.  There probably was some hard feelings like anyone when the head coach gets the credit but it is people behind the scenes and the players.  The book goes on from there through the Walton years, more problems with some of the players.    A part of the story he talks about is the athletic director J.D. Morgan.  He was there from 1963-1979 during that time UCLA won 30 NCAA championships more than any other school.   10-basketball, 7-volleyball, 6-tennis, 4-track & field, and 3 water polo and the football team played the two Rose bowls.  He also oversaw the building of Pauley Pavilion and he brought in local TV contracts.  The basketball program paid for the athletic department over 350,000 a year.  Other schools it was football.  He also had a national TV contract for UCLA basketball.  Because of this he helped the NCAA tournament sign its first lucrative TV contract and long term.  Now the tournament is a month long and UCLA basketball is still known throughout the country even the world.  This was a good book and though the author does not say it. Both Jabbar, Walton, and other players who may have had problems with him turned to him and looked for him and his advice when they got older.  So, something worked.

Just What He Wanted

Posted: July 27, 2013

Just What He Wanted by HelenKay DimonBook four of the Holloway series

Travis Yardley thought he had everything he needed, but one look at Andrea Patterson shows him he was wrong. Andie is a gorgeous, curvy blonde who moves to town to manage a nearby campground. Seizing the chance to get close to her, Travis volunteers himself as tour guide and "bodyguard.'

After a bad breakup, Andie is looking to start over and determined to put her heart on hiatus. She's working on her self-esteem, and she is not ready for the likes of Travis. He comes on strong, with all the energy of a guy almost ten years her junior, which is exactly what he is.

Even as Travis's troubled past catches up with him, he pulls out all the stops to convince Andie he deserves a chance. And with the spring thaw hitting the Mountain View Resort, Andie discovers her own temperature rising whenever Travis looks her way…


Travis Yardley is a 25 year old strong handsome man who works with his 4 friends at a nursery. He was given a job there by the owner and father of two of the four men that are now co-owners. This five men and the wives and girlfriends and a bunch of jesters. They are like to be in each other’s business. They are also in the process of becoming co-owners in a B & B at the nearby campground where they have just hired a new caretaker. They have been doing a lot of work there and so when the Travis is asked to go help there are no questions asked. Andie Patterson is a friend of Lila’s from the city who has moved back to her country roots. Travis thought that he had finally found all that he needed in his life. Friends, community, job security and food on the table who could ask for more. Andie changes all that from the first time when Lila ask Travis to go up and help her make the transition and show her around and Andie pulls a shot gun on him it was love at first sight. For Andie there is one minor problem right off the top that is glaring to her beside the lust, Travis is only 25 years old, although there is that thing of being a Greek god and all but 25 really? So, can they overcome it only time will tell? Come and find out how a small town hot line can make or break a romance. See if they can overcome the age difference. See what is lurking in each of their backgrounds Travis’ seems to cause him some real heartbreaking moments. He friends and his community love who he was, has become and know he can be. The cast of characters are just amazing the way the all come to live and make you laugh. I LOVE THE WAY HE LOVED HER THROUGH HER BODY IMAGE ISSUE AND TOLD HE LOVED HER FOR HER AND THOUGHT SHE WAS SEXY. provide by NetGalley


LET’S WELCOME SHIRLEY JUMP   AUTHOR OF: Rad-Reader:  How did you come up with this concept for this book? Sh...