The Discoverers: A History of Man's Search to Know His World and Himself (Boorstin Trilogy)

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9781842122273: The Discoverers: A History of Man's Search to Know His World and Himself (Boorstin Trilogy)
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The obstacles to discovery - the illusions of knowledge -are also part of the story. Boorstin captures the illusions about the past - the earth before Columbus and Balboa, Magellan and Captain Cook, about the heavens before Copernicus and Galileo, about the human body before Paracelsus and Harvey, plants before Linnaeus, the past before Petrarch, wealth before Adam Smith, the physical world before Newton, Dalton, Faraday and Einstein. He asks unfamiliar questions: Why didn't the Chinese 'discover' Europe or America? Why did people take so long to learn that the earth goes around the sun? All In one great chronological extravaganza. 'A ravishing book...with a verve, an audacity and a grasp of every sort of knowledge that is outrageous and wonderful...I can't think of any other living writer who could have attempted, let alone accomplished it' Alistair Cooke. 'An adventure story...great good fun to read' New York Times Book Review. 'A grand and exhilarating voyage, a bold attempt to circumnavigate the intellectual globe' The Philadelphia Inquirer.

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Review:

Perhaps the greatest book by one of our greatest historians, The Discoverers is a volume of sweeping range and majestic interpretation. To call it a history of science is an understatement; this is the story of how humankind has come to know the world, however incompletely ("the eternal mystery of the world," Einstein once said, "is its comprehensibility"). Daniel J. Boorstin first describes the liberating concept of time--"the first grand discovery"--and continues through the age of exploration and the advent of the natural and social sciences. The approach is idiosyncratic, with Boorstin lingering over particular figures and accomplishments rather than rushing on to the next set of names and dates. It's also primarily Western, although Boorstin does ask (and answer) several interesting questions: Why didn't the Chinese "discover" Europe and America? Why didn't the Arabs circumnavigate the planet? His thesis about discovery ultimately turns on what he calls "illusions of knowledge." If we think we know something, then we face an obstacle to innovation. The great discoverers, Boorstin shows, dispel the illusions and reveal something new about the world.

Although The Discoverers easily stands on its own, it is technically the first entry in a trilogy that also includes The Creators and The Seekers. An outstanding book--one of the best works of history to be found anywhere. --John J. Miller

From the Publisher:

" A remarkable narrative of the grand intellectual venture of humankind, rich in fascinating, often dramatic details"-- (The Wall Street Journal)
" A sumptuous, totally engaging panorama. No one who reads it will look at the chronicle of human ingenuity in the same way again." --David McCullough

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780394726250: The Discoverers: A History of Man's Search to Know His World and Himself

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ISBN 10:  0394726251 ISBN 13:  9780394726250
Publisher: Vintage, 1985
Softcover

9780394402291: The Discoverers: A History of Man's Search to Know His World and Himself

Random..., 1983
Hardcover

9780140080544: The discoverers

Pengui..., 1986
Softcover

9780460046626: The Discoverers: A History of Man's Search to Know His World and Himself

Little..., 1984
Hardcover

9780394256337: The Discoverers

Vintag..., 1993
Softcover

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