The Discoverers by Daniel Boorstin, published in , is a solid, thoroughly researched and well documented series of 82 essays on the history of human. In Boorstin’s bestseller The Discoverers, the achievements of Galileo, Columbus, Darwin, Gutenberg and Freud emerged as upwellings of creativity and. In the compendious history, Boorstin not only traces man’s insatiable need to know, but also the obstacles to discovery and the illusion that.

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It describes the step-by-step advances in human knowledge in many areas, as societies began to measure time, became determined to explore and map th If you were going on a yearlong cruise and could take only one book, this might be my recommendation.

The Discoverers. A History of Man’s Search to Know His World and Himself

While it’s certainly a book that expounds a great-man’s theory of history, it’s style of writing reminded me of Keegan’s History of Warfare, and I was struck by the sheer didcoverers of following along with Boorstein’s path through modern history.

This long chain of incremental improvements – one generation improving or amplifying the results of previous generations – contrasts sharply with the idea of overthrowing the current order and replacing it with revolutionary ideas originating not in experience but in ideology.

Boorstin’s writing has been praised, but he has also had his critics. Conversely, Hindus did not explore the seas due to the caste system some were forbidden to travel over salt waterMuslims became satisfied with the Arabian status quo [1] and China, with an increasingly weak central government, lost its drive for exploration and withdrew to its own borders.

After a while and the magic of Boorstin’s prose kind of stabilized from its heady start, the book is starting to have a biography-like feel to it. He was the director of the Smithsonian’s National Disclverers of American History, and for twelve years served as the Librarian of Congress. Boorstih Discoverers by Daniel Boorstin, published inis a solid, thoroughly researched and well documented series of 82 essays on the history of human discovery. Giovanni de’ Dondi completed a clock that combined a planetarium and a timepiece.

Time, which discusses the inventions of the calendar and clock; The Earth and Seas, which recounts the refinement of mapping, geography, and exploration; Nature, which discpverers astronomy, medicine, and physics; and Society, which wraps up the modern era as an age where people have studied themselves and their works in unprecedented detail.


Boorstin takes us right up to the start of the twentieth century and along the way treats us to captivating vignettes of visionaries who radically altered our perceptions, many of whom I learned about for biorstin first time or in a new way.

Not to be confused with The Discoverer. Covering time, the earth and the seas, nature and society, he gathers and analyzes stories of the man’s profound quest to understand his world and the cosmos. This is not comprehensive history but a well balanced narrative. He became an exponent of tradition, wary boortsin the implications of multiculturalism and along with Arthur M.

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

Jun 10, Todd N rated it it was amazing. For example, he covers the “two great systemizers,” Ray and Linnaeus, who came up with the organization system for species and genuses. I was pleasantly surprised the entire time, amazed that what I thought was a run of the mill shelf filler would be so consistently interesting an engaging.

Jan 06, Jennifer aka EM rated it really liked it. From manuscripts numbering in the thousands before Gutenberg printed his bible, within 50 years there were ten million books in print. Dante Aligheri wrote about his journey through the realms of the dead. The book is full of fascinating stories of people that changed the world or the perception of it. Sea charts, however, were tested not by literature but by experience. Boorstin is apparently a generally strong historian, having written several other acclaimed works like the History Pulitzer winner The Americans, and if that one was anything like this it should be a great read.

The parts on economics should have interested me more, but by this time I was tired of the book and looking forward to the “Some Reference Notes” which turned out to be a chatty and enthusiastic bibliography.

May 14, Aaron Arnold rated it it was amazing Shelves: It is “The Discover-ers”, rather than “Discovery” itself. Genoa’s first mechanical public clock was made in Milan. The Invention of Species.

But his texts were authoritative for over fourteen centuries. My old paper backdog eared and extensively annotated finally fell apart earlier this year so I bought a second hand hard cover and went on annotating.


Great, just what I need: The book is organized into four ‘Books’. Mar 24, Christopher rated it it was amazing Shelves: The Jesuits forecast-ed that the ellipse would happen at Cambodian king Suryavarman built the the most gigantic religious monument in the world of the stupa temple complex of Angkor Wat.

China, for example, only allowed the ruling class indulgence in scientific ventures. The Microscope of Nature. Meanwhile Edward Tyson founded comparative anatomy and showed that a man and chimpanzee had more in common than a chimpanzee and a monkey. It is not skeptics or explorers but fanatics and ideologues who menace decency and progress.

Seven hundred years later, when movable type came to Europe, and after only a brief Gothic interlude, the letters were fashioned on the model of Carolingian Minuscule. Boorstin’s work is nonetheless impressive in its adroit treatment of a sweeping range of subjects with both brevity and clarity and enough specificity to truly enlighten.

The Discoverers – Wikipedia

It’s divided into four main sections: However, everyone mentioned in the book — credentialed or not — read and worked constantly. For me, the book has two aspects that set it well above similar works on scientific history. A circular letter or schedule of questions had been ciscoverers before by tax collectors and census gatherers.

By recalling the favors and the tribulations that God had visited on them, Jews discovered and dkscoverers their mission as a chosen people. Boorstin successfully converting this vast ocean into a story each of us can enjoy.

Open Sesame to China. But I really did enjoy it. Priority Becomes the Prize.

The Discoverers by Daniel J. Boorstin | : Books

I’ll write a more detailed review latter but this discovverers amaze balls! This also led to the idea of a clockwork universe. How did we start to measure Time? Later that century Santorio Santorio would use a new strategy, measurement. Dated now, and certainly not as high-falutin’ as some other scientific treatises out there–but as erudite as it is accessible; expansive in scope but still a user-friendly introduction to what can often discovererz intimidating subjects.