The Sound of Young America: Steven Johnson, Author of The Invention of Air

19th March 2009

Steven Berlin Johnson is a writer and entrepreneur who writes on the history of ideas. His books have included Everything Bad is Good for You, which suggested that contemporary popular culture is more challenging to the mind than it’s accused of being, and The Ghost Map: The Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic–and How It […]

Episode notes

Steven Berlin Johnson is a writer and entrepreneur who writes on the history of ideas. His books have included Everything Bad is Good for You, which suggested that contemporary popular culture is more challenging to the mind than it’s accused of being, and The Ghost Map: The Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic–and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World, which tracked the spread of cholera in London in the mid-19th century as a way to understand the networked modern city. His newest book, The Invention of Air: A Story of Science, Faith, Revolution and the Birth of America tracks the life of the 18th century writer and scientist Joseph Priestley, and how his story can help us learn about the growth and development of ideas. Johnson also created the news discussion site plastic.com and the hyper-local site outside.in.

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