Brain Pickings

Reads by Michelle Legro

Marketing the Moon: How NASA Sold Space to Earth
Marketing the Moon: How NASA Sold Space to Earth

When the mission became the message and NASA undertook the monumental task of explaining rocket science to an audience looking to the stars.

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The Philosopher and the Prodigy: How Voltaire Fell in Love with a Remarkable Woman Mathematician
The Philosopher and the Prodigy: How Voltaire Fell in Love with a Remarkable Woman Mathematician

“That lady whom I look upon as a great man… She understands Newton, she despises superstition and in short she makes me happy.”

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Industrial Sublime: How New York City’s Bridges and Rivers Became a Muse of Modernism
Industrial Sublime: How New York City’s Bridges and Rivers Became a Muse of Modernism

How a city of contrasts inspired a generation of artists.

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Falling Upwards: An Illustrated History of the Golden Age of Hot Air Balloons and How We Conquered the Skies
Falling Upwards: An Illustrated History of the Golden Age of Hot Air Balloons and How We Conquered the Skies

How scientists, explorers, and daredevils risked their lives so we could see our world from above.

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Pain, Parties, Work: Sylvia Plath in New York, Summer 1953
Pain, Parties, Work: Sylvia Plath in New York, Summer 1953

What a catalog of superficiality reveals about the complex inner worlds of young women.

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Wondrous Beauty: How Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte Pioneered the Ideal of the Independent Woman
Wondrous Beauty: How Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte Pioneered the Ideal of the Independent Woman

How an American who married into the most powerful family in Europe became a model of empowered womanhood in the nineteenth century.

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Beauty, Aging, and the Expansion of Our Sympathies: What George Eliot Teaches Us About the Rewards of Middle Age
Beauty, Aging, and the Expansion of Our Sympathies: What George Eliot Teaches Us About the Rewards of Middle Age

“The greatest benefit we owe the artist, whether painter, poet, or novelist, is the extension of our sympathies.”

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The Tragic and Scandalous Life of Mrs. Oscar Wilde
The Tragic and Scandalous Life of Mrs. Oscar Wilde

“To you the Cathedral is dedicated. The individual side chapels are to other saints…”

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The Story of Benjamin Franklin’s Sister and How Women Are Sidelined in History
The Story of Benjamin Franklin’s Sister and How Women Are Sidelined in History

Exposing the subjectivity of history’s substance.

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How to Create the Perfect Wife
How to Create the Perfect Wife

How an 18th-century bachelor enlisted Rousseau’s teachings in Frankensteining his better-ever half.

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