The Creators: A History of Heroes of the Imagination

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9780394543956: The Creators: A History of Heroes of the Imagination

By piecing the lives of selected individuals into a grand mosaic, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Daniel J. Boorstin explores the development of artistic innovation over 3,000 years. A hugely ambitious chronicle of the arts that Boorstin delivers with the scope that made his Discoverers a national bestseller.
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Review:

Historian Daniel J. Boorstin brings his customary depth and range to this compelling book on Western art, taking on everything from European megaliths (Stonehenge, for example) to Benjamin Franklin's autobiography ("the first American addition to world literature"). Boorstin does not aim at being comprehensive--he much prefers to linger over certain "heroes of the imagination" as he surveys human accomplishment in the fields of architecture, music, painting, sculpting, and writing--yet The Creators certainly feels comprehensive, as Boorstin carefully places everything he describes within a grand tradition of aesthetic achievement.

Boorstin knows that good history demands good writing, and his prose makes this big book easy to absorb. "This is a story," he writes, "of how creators in all the arts have enlarged, embellished, fantasized, and filigreed our experience"--an apt description of the role art plays in our life and an equally apt description of the way Boorstin interprets it for readers. (The Creators also is the second volume of a trilogy that starts with The Discoverers and concludes with The Seekers, although none of these books requires any knowledge of the others.) --John J. Miller

About the Author:

Daniel J. Boorstin was the author of The Americans, a trilogy (The Colonial Experience; The National Experience, and The Democratic Experience) that won the Francis Parkman Prize, the Bancroft Prize, and the Pulitzer Prize. In 1989, he received the National Book Award for lifetime contribution to literature. He was the director of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, and for twelve years served as the Librarian of Congress. He died in 2004.

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