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What are the biggest challenges facing American society today? And how can we solve them? Bro Adams, the new chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, says that science and technology can’t solve those challenges—but the humanities can. Plus: Most of us know the history of the battle at Gettysburg, but Jennifer Murray (UVA Wise) tells the story of what happened to the battlefield after the fighting stopped.

Later in the show: The author of a book about Herbert Huncke says his unrepentant deviance caught the imagination of Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and William S. Burroughs. Hilary Holladay writes that Huncke (rhymes with “junky”) often said, “I’m beat, man.” His line gave Kerouac the label for a generation seeking spiritual sustenance and “kicks” in post-war America. Also featured: During the late 1960s, poet Allen Ginsberg bought a farm in New York to serve as “a haven for comrades in distress.” Gordon Ball, who was the farm manager, has written a book about his experience, East Hill Farm: Seasons with Allen Ginsberg. Ball also teaches a course on Ginsberg and the Beat Generation to young cadets at Virginia Military Institute.

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