The Seekers: The Story of Man's Continuing Quest to Understand His World

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9780679434450: The Seekers: The Story of Man's Continuing Quest to Understand His World
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Throughout history, from the time of Socrates to our own modern age, the human race has sought the answers to fundamental questions of life: Who are we?  Why are we here?

In his previous national bestsellers, The Discoverers and The Creators , Daniel J. Boorstin first told brilliantly how e discovered the reality of our world, and then he celebrated man's achievements in the arts.  He now turns to the great figures in history who sought meaning and purpose in our existence.

Boorstin says our Western culture has seen three grand epics of Seeking.  First there was the heroic way of prophets and philosophers--men like Moses or Job or Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, as well as those in the communities of the early church universities and the Protestant Reformation--seeking salvation or truth from the god above or the reason within each of us.

Then came an age of communal seeking, with people like Thucydides and Thomas More and Machiavelli and Voltaire pursuing  civilization and the liberal spirit.

Finally, there was an age of the social sciences, when man seemed ruled by the forces of history.  Here are the absorbing stories of exceptional men such as Marx, Spengler, and Toynbee, Carlyle and Emerson, and Malraux, Bergson, and Einstein.

These great thinkers still have the power to speak to us, not always so much for their answers as for their way of asking the questions that never cease either to intrigue or to obsess us.

In this impressive climax to a monumental trilogy, Daniel J. Boorstin once again shows that his ability to present challenging ideas, coupled with sharp portraits of great writers and thinkers, remains unparalleled.

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Renowned historian Daniel J. Boorstin completes the trilogy he began with The Discoverers and The Creators. The first volume covered explorers, scientists, and historians in their quest for raw knowledge, while the second book describes writers, painters, and composers in their pursuit of inspiring art; The Seekers describes people searching for an understanding of human existence--"Man is the asking animal," notes Boorstin. It's a big, bold theme, and although The Seekers is the shortest work in the trilogy, it's still vintage Boorstin: incredibly learned, richly anecdotal, and casually profound. It begins with the prophets of the Holy Land and the philosophers of ancient Greece, continues through the Renaissance, and concludes with the modern era of the social sciences. "In this long quest [for understanding], Western culture has turned from seeking the end or purpose to seeking causes--from the Why to the How," writes Boorstin. That's a neat summary of Western intellectual development over several thousand years. What other author could put it so succinctly? Boorstin is generally stronger with material that is more recent and more secular, but this is an accomplished book and a worthy capstone to an outstanding three-volume effort. --John J. Miller

From the Back Cover:

"Daniel J. Boorstin's unexcelled intellectual career began at an extraordinary high level fifty years ago and has steadily ascended ever since. It is too soon to say that it has reached its apogee with The Seekers. However, this completion of a trilogy on humanity's quest for understanding confirms Boorstin's rank as one of the giants of twentieth-century American scholarship." --George F. Will

"Boorstin reminds us what intellectual history on the grand scale looks like....The Seekers is an impressive conclusion to a grand trilogy .... The three books together bring to mind a monumental library whose facade is decorated by statues of Moses, Socrates and Newton and whose reading room is framed by murals depicting the Progress of Technology and Law. In an age of Alexandrian pedantry and narrow specialization in the academy, Boorstin has slowly and carefully built a Library of Alexandria open to the public, a library, that is, without walls." --The New York Times Book Review, Michael Lind
Praise for the first two volumes of Daniel J. Boorstin's monumental trilogy

The Discoverers

"History written in a grand style. I cannot readily recall another book from which I have learned so many new things...Boorstin has stuffed his book to the point of bursting with fascinating information, such that few indeed will be the readers who do not themselves become discoverers as they turn its pages."
--Richard Westfall, The Washington Post Book World

"A work of extraordinary synthesis, it is pellucid in style, grand in conception, fertile in imagination, ambitious in design and scope...This is a wonderful book."
--Josiah Bunting III, The Chicago Sun-Times Book Week

The Creators

"The scope of this work is as broad as history itself, leading with some beguiling detours to the modern era...a book that distills the best of human achievement into human terms."
--The Wall Street Journal

"There are few writers who could tackle so vast a subject with as much verve or self-assurance or infectious enthusiasm as Boorstin...He combines lively opinions and a distinguished historian's erudition, with a first-class journalist's clarity and eye for the revealing anecdote...Irresistible."
--USA Today

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780375704758: The Seekers: The Story of Man's Continuing Quest to Understand His World Knowledge Trilogy (3)

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ISBN 10:  0375704752 ISBN 13:  9780375704758
Publisher: Vintage, 1999
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9780965676939: The Seekers - The Story Of Man's Continuing Quest To Understand His World

Vintag..., 1998
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9781842122280: The Seekers (Boorstin Trilogy)

Weiden..., 2001
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Book Description Random House, New York, 1998. Hardcover. Condition: New. First Edition.. 299 pages. Hardcover with dustjacket. Like New. HISTORY. Throughout history, from the time of Socrates to our own modern age, the human race has sought the answers to fundamental questions of life: Who are we? Why are we here? "This completion of a trilogy on humanity's quest for understanding confirms Boorstin's rank as one of the giants of twentieth-century American scholarship." - George F. Will. Includes an Index. (Key Words: Civilization, History, Daniel J. Boorstin, Religion, Meaning, Philosophy, World War II, Voltaire,Thucydides, Socrates, Bertrand Russell, Plato, Isaac Newton, Monasteries, John Locke, Thomas Jefferson, Homer, Herodotus, French Enlightenment, Doubt, Rene Descartes, Christianity, Francis Bacon, Aristotle). book. Seller Inventory # 16650X2

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