90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
'American Nerd'
photo

Nerds have come a long way in America — Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Alan Greenspan. Talk about “revenge”! There’s even “nerd chic” these days.

But it wasn’t always so. As author Benjamin Nugent tells us in his rich new history, “American Nerd: The Story of My People,” you’re more apt to think of high pants, taped glasses, pocket protectors, and a fondness for math.

Nugent looks back and traces two centuries of nerds and nerd lore, from literature to comedy.

This hour, On Point: That archetypal character, the American Nerd.

Guest host, Jane Clayson:

Guests:

Benjamin Nugent, author of “American Nerd: The Story of My People.” He has written for The New York Times Magazine, Time, New York, and n+1.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Bin

    Pretty cool story. I would rather look in neurobiology and primate group dynamics to explain the origin of the nerd. And yes, nerds shall inherit the Earth…

ONPOINT
TODAY
Sep 17, 2014
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson watches from the sidelines against the Oakland Raiders during the second half of a preseason NFL football game at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Friday, Aug. 8, 2014. (AP/Ann Heisenfelt)

The NFL’s Adrian Peterson and the emotional debate underway about how far is too far to go when it comes to disciplining children.

Sep 17, 2014
Bob Dylan and Victor Maymudes at "The Castle" in LA before the 1965 world tour. Lisa Law/The Archive Agency)

A new take on the life and music of Bob Dylan, from way inside the Dylan story. “Another Side of Bob Dylan.”

RECENT
SHOWS
Sep 16, 2014
From "Rich Hill"

“Rich Hill,” a new documentary on growing up poor, now, in rural America. The dreams and the desperation.

 
Sep 16, 2014
Jasmin Torres helps classmate Brianna Rameles with a worksheet at the Diloreto Magnet School in New Britain, Conn., Wednesday Feb. 22, 2012. (AP/Charles Krupa)

More parents are “red-shirting” their children in kindergarten—holding them back for a year, hoping they’ll have an edge. Does it work? We look.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: September 12, 2014
Friday, Sep 12, 2014

In which you had varied reactions to the prospect of a robotic spouse.

More »
Comment
 
Beverly Gooden on #WhyIStayed
Friday, Sep 12, 2014

Beverly Gooden — who originated the #WhyIStayed hashtag that has taken off across Twitter — joined us today for our discussion on domestic violence.

More »
1 Comment
 
Tierney Sutton Plays LIVE For On Point
Friday, Sep 5, 2014

We break out Tierney Sutton’s three beautiful live tracks from our broadcast today for your listening pleasure.

More »
2 Comments