Author: Loknath Das

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Asking the Tough Questions With an 18th-Century Debate Society

IN NOVEMBER 1788, A GROUP of fine young men founded one of New York’s original social clubs, which they named the Calliopean Society. The club had an “express purpose”—to improve the educations and minds of its 20-odd members. At every meeting, club members gave speeches, presented essays, and debated …