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Skidmore College
First-Year Experience

2017 Summer Reading

Questions to Ponder 

  1. The Book That Changed America has been described in reviews as a “biography of an idea” and/or an “intellectual history.”  What do you think those terms mean, and how exactly do they describe Professor Fuller’s work?  Is one label more accurate than the other, in your opinion?  Why?
  2. Today it seems hard to imagine that a single book or idea could have the cultural impact that Darwin’s did.   Can you think of any recent books that created a substantial “buzz”--? What about scientific discoveries?
  3. This book highlights what some would say is a perpetual conflict between science and religion.  Which historical figures in the book seem most (or least) able to reconcile that conflict for themselves?   Do you believe that conflict endures in our contemporary world?  If so, how?