influence

Throughout its history America has been torn in two by debates over ideals and beliefs. In The Book That Changed America​, Randall Fuller takes us back to one of those turning points, in 1860, with the story of the influence of Charles Darwin’s just-published On the Origin of Species on five American intellectuals, including Bronson Alcott, Henry David Thoreau, the child welfare reformer Charles Loring Brace, and the abolitionist Franklin Sanborn.  

Each of these figures seized on the book’s assertion of a common ancestry for all creatures as a powerful argument against slavery, one that helped provide scientific credibility to the cause of abolition.

  In this week’s Classical Music According to Yehuda, Alan Chartock and Yehuda Hanani continue their series of discussions about women who influenced classical composers. This week’s composer is Ludwig van Beethoven.

  In his new book, Invisible Influence: The Hidden Forces that Shape Behavior, Jonah Berger explores the subtle, secret influences that affect the decisions we make—from what we buy, to the careers we choose, to what we eat.

Without our realizing it, other people’s behavior has a huge influence on everything we do at every moment of our lives, from the mundane to the momentous occasion. Even strangers have a startling impact on our judgments and decisions: our attitudes toward a welfare policy shift if we’re told it is supported by Democrats versus Republicans (even though the policy is the same in both cases).

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Defiant and emotional, Connecticut House Speaker Christopher Donovan denies that he did anything wrong as federal investigators look into his congressional campaign's finances.

Donovan held a sidewalk news conference Sunday evening outside his campaign office in Meriden.

Federal prosecutors had announced Thursday that Donovan's campaign finance manager had been arrested for allegedly conspiring with others to hide the source of $20,000 in campaign contributions.