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The Seekers

Posted By: avaxmore
The Seekers

The Seekers
Random House Trade (2000-09) | ISBN: 0679462708 | 224 Pages | 567 KB | PDF

Renowned historian Daniel J. Boorstin completes the trilogy he began with The Discoverers and The Creators. The first volume covered explorers, scientists, and historians in their quest for raw knowledge, while the second book describes writers, painters, and composers in their pursuit of inspiring art; The Seekers describes people searching for an understanding of human existence–"Man is the asking animal," notes Boorstin. It's a big, bold theme, and although The Seekers is the shortest work in the trilogy, it's still vintage Boorstin: incredibly learned, richly anecdotal, and casually profound. It begins with the prophets of the Holy Land and the philosophers of ancient Greece, continues through the Renaissance, and concludes with the modern era of the social sciences. "In this long quest [for understanding], Western culture has turned from seeking the end or purpose to seeking causes–from the Why to the How," writes Boorstin. That's a neat summary of Western intellectual development over several thousand years. What other author could put it so succinctly? Boorstin is generally stronger with material that is more recent and more secular, but this is an accomplished book and a worthy capstone to an outstanding three-volume effort. –John J. Miller