Bill speaks with historian Joyce Appleby about her new book, Shores of Knowledge: New World Discoveries and the Scientific Imagination, which comes out this weekend.

In it Appleby writes across 400 years of history featuring explorers from Christopher Columbus to Charles Darwin to Alexander Humboldt to explain how the curiosity of old Europe broke free of church dogma and fired the modern scientific imagination, creating the world we inhabit today.

Curiosity was not something that was respected or encouraged by the Christian churches, Appleby tells Bill. It was viewed as a type of "lust for knowledge and asking questions that only God knew, so you weren't supposed to ask about eclipses or tides or comets or anything of that sort," she says.

"What's astounding to me is that it's not just curiosity, but within two or three generations of the discovery of the New World, they're not only questions, but there is the capacity to invest hundreds and thousands of hours into getting the answer," Appleby tells Bill.

Appleby's previous books include Inheriting the Revolution, about the sons and daughters who took the founding fathers’ revolt against the British crown and made America out of it and The Relentless Revolution: A History of Capitalism, which traces our economic system back to a handful of isolated changes in farming, trade and manufacturing, clustered in early-modern England.

Curiosity was not something that was respected or encouraged by the Christian churches, Appleby tells Bill. It was viewed as a type of "lust for knowledge and asking questions that only God knew, so you weren't supposed to ask about eclipses or tides or comets or anything of that sort," she says.

"What's astounding to me is that it's not just curiosity, but within two or three generations of the discovery of the New World, they're not only questions, but there is the capacity to invest hundreds and thousands of hours into getting the answer," Appleby tells Bill.

Appleby's previous books include Inheriting the Revolution, about the sons and daughters who took the founding fathers’ revolt against the British crown and made America out of it and The Relentless Revolution: A History of Capitalism, which traces our economic system back to a handful of isolated changes in farming, trade and manufacturing, clustered in early-modern England.

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