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'American Nerd'
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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.

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  • 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
Apr 24, 2014
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, left, talks with Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-Covina at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Monday, April 21, 2014. Hernandez proposed a constitutional amendment that would ask voters to again allow public colleges to use race and ethnicity when considering college applicants. The proposal stalled this year after backlash from Asian Americans. (AP)

California as Exhibit A for what happens when a state bans affirmative action in college admissions. We’ll look at race, college and California.

Apr 24, 2014
A Buddhist monk lights the funeral pyre of Nepalese mountaineer Ang Kaji Sherpa, killed in an avalanche on Mount Everest, during his funeral ceremony in Katmandu, Nepal, Monday, April 21, 2014.  (AP)

A Sherpa boycott on Everest after a deadly avalanche. We’ll look at climbing, culture, life, death and money at the top of the world.

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Apr 23, 2014
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Apr 23, 2014
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The Supreme Court looks at Aereo, the little startup that could cut your cable cord and up-end TV as we’ve known it. We look at the battle. Plus: a state ban on affirmative action in college admissions is upheld. We’ll examine the implications.

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