In this companion volume to his bestseller The Discoverers, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Daniel Boorstin brings to life more than 3,000 years of human artistic achievement. This immensely readable and engrossing book examines what people have added to the world: painting, sculpture, architecture, theology, philosophy, poetry, drama, music, ...
In this companion volume to his bestseller The Discoverers, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Daniel Boorstin brings to life more than 3,000 years of human artistic achievement. This immensely readable and engrossing book examines what people have added to the world: painting, sculpture, architecture, theology, philosophy, poetry, drama, music, film, and more.S. News & World Report.
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Publishers Weekly, 1993-09-20 Boorstin's companion volume to The Discoverers --a one-week PW bestseller and a BOMC main selection in cloth--chronicles 3000 years of artistic invention, while providing entertaining biographical profiles of Dante, Leonardo, Goethe, Ben Franklin, Picasso and dozens more. (Oct.)
Publishers Weekly, 1992-06-29 In an ambitious companion volume to The Discoverers, Boorstin undertakes an interpretative history of creativity in Western civilization encompassing all the arts. Creativity, he suggests, is a relatively recent phenomenon with Judeo-Christian roots: the Jews' covenant with Yahweh ``sealed . . . man's capacity to imitate God as a creator,'' and Christianity, by turning our gaze to the future, ``played a leading role in the discovery of our powers to create.'' In the eminent historian's Eurocentric scenario, the Buddha ``aimed at Un-Creation'' and intimated the existence of a supreme power who was ``no model for man the creator.'' Likewise, Boorstin presents Islamic religion as ``the inhibitor of the arts,'' and his chapter-length forays into Chinese painting and Japanese architecture are unsatisfying, leaving the impression that the truly great creative endeavors are the province of the West. Nevertheless, this is an enormously stimulating volume, an epic work of immeasurable riches. Boorstin contemplates architects' attempts to conquer time and outlast the brief span of human life through prehistoric megaliths, Egypt's pyramids, Greek temples, the Roman Pantheon and modern-day skyscrapers. He offers wonderfully attuned readings of varied versions of the human comedy from Boccaccio and Chaucer to Balzac. Modern writers, he asserts, created the self by probing ``the wilderness within,'' as chapters here on Melville, Dostoyevski, Kafka, Joyce and Virginia Woolf attest. Highly opinionated and quirky, Boorstin says virtually nothing about Mozart's unique triumphs of the spirit, yet he exalts Beethoven as a ``prophet and pioneer.'' Packed with shrewd, pithy judgments and entertaining biographical profiles of Dante, Da Vinci, Goethe, Ben Franklin, Picasso and dozens more, this eloquent, remarkable synthesis sets the achievements of individual creative geniuses into a coherent narrative framework of humanity's advance from darkness and ignorance. First serial to U.S. News & World Report; BOMC main selection. (Sept.) .
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