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For the Thrill of It: Leopold, Loeb, and the Murder that Shocked Chicago (New York: HarperCollins, 5 August 2008).

It was a crime that shocked the nation, a brutal murder in Chicago in 1924 of a child, by two wealthy college students who killed solely for the thrill of the experience. Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb had first met several years earlier, and their friendship had blossomed into a love affair. Both were intellectuals—too smart, they believed, for the police to catch them. However, the police had recovered an important clue at the scene of the crime—a pair of eyeglasses—and soon both Leopold and Loeb were in the custody of Cook County. They confessed, and Robert Crowe, the state's attorney, announced to newspaper reporters that he had a hanging case. No defense, he believed, would save the two ruthless killers from the gallows.

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Knowledge, Culture, and Science in the Metropolis: The New York Academy of Sciences, 1817-1970 (New York, 1990)

In 1800 science in America was little more than a hobby for small groups of wealthy savants in the major cities; now, in the twenty-first century, it is a multibillion dollar enterprise that exerts an impact on the life of every citizen. The New York Academy of Sciences, founded in 1817, is one of the nation’s oldest and most significant scientific societies. In the nineteenth century, members of the Academy conducted pathbreaking research in the natural and physical sciences in collaboration with colleagues at the American Museum of Natural History, Columbia, NYU, and the New York Botanical Garden; in the twentieth century, the Academy’s achievements lay in medicine and biology, with revolutionary discoveries in pharmaceuticals and antibiotics.

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‘Venerate the Plough’: A History of the Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture, 1785-1985 (Philadelphia, 1985)

Until around 1920 the United States was overwhelmingly a nation of farms and farmers. A majority of Americans made their living from the land. Agriculture in eastern Pennsylvania was associated with novel scientific techniques – crop rotation, livestock improvements, new farm machinery – from the colonial period onwards. This history details how a small group of gentlemen-farmers in the neighborhood of Philadelphia exerted a disproportionate influence over the development of agriculture throughout two hundred years of American history.

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