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The Discoverers

Daniel J. Boorstin

9,446 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0394402294 / ISBN 13: 9780394402291
Published by Random House, 1983
Used Condition: Good Hardcover
From ABC Books (Springfield, MO, U.S.A.)

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Quantity Available: 1

About this Item

DJ with tears and creasing to edges, now protected in mylar. Boards and spine tight. No apparent marks throughout this book, foxing to outside page edges. Tracking available on most domestic orders. Bookseller Inventory # mon0000161543

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Discoverers

Publisher: Random House

Publication Date: 1983

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Good

Dust Jacket Condition: Acceptable

About this title

Synopsis:

An original history of man's greatest adventure: his search to discover the world around him.
From the Trade Paperback edition.

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

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