The author of "The Discoverers" and "The Creators" once again shows readers that his ability to present challenging ideas, coupled with sharp portraits of great writers and thinkers, remains unparalleled. "The Seekers" offers a history of our great Western heritage of ideas, as told through the lives of those who still speak to us, from Moses and ...Read MoreThe author of "The Discoverers" and "The Creators" once again shows readers that his ability to present challenging ideas, coupled with sharp portraits of great writers and thinkers, remains unparalleled. "The Seekers" offers a history of our great Western heritage of ideas, as told through the lives of those who still speak to us, from Moses and Plato to Emerson and Einstein.Read Less
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Publishers Weekly, 1998-08-10 In The Discoverers (1983), Boorstin introduced readers to scientists, explorers, historians and other pursuers of knowledge. Ten years later, The Creators did the same for innovators in art. "We glory in their discoveries and creations," he writes in the introduction to his latest, "But we are all Seekers. We all want to know why." Starting from that perhaps overbroad premise, Boorstin begins with an examination of Hebrew prophets and Greek philosophersæthose who seek from a higher authority and those who seek from within. From this point on there are rather few religious seekers; instead most are philosophers of systems, of systems for discovering truth (the reason of Descartes, the empiricism of Locke, the individual experience of Kierkegaard) or for describing it (the encyclopedia of Diderot, the cultural cycles of Spengler, Hegel's World-Spirit). Certain subjects seem rather out of place, and chapters like that on H.G. Wells and John Reed, another on Oliver Wendell Holmes and E.O. Wilson; and individual chapters on Samuel Beckett, Lord Acton and Andr? Malraux, have the feel of an insatiable polymath's chapbook. There are many movements, many people and many big ideas here, all expounded with Boorstin's characteristic enthusiasm and breadth of knowledge. It's perhaps inevitable that in such a broad survey some simplification would slip inæe.g., identifying 13th-century universities as centers for training gentlemen, rather than for offering professional training in theology, law and medicine. But what Boorstin does so well is bring together many ideas that fertilize and cross-fertilize the reader's imagination and curiosity. Author tour. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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