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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For example, he covers the “two great systemizers,” Ray and Linnaeus, who came up with the organization system for species and genuses.

Rather it was the extension of the uniqueness of the person forever and ever. Here’s hoping that more people read this book, both to celebrate the great scientists and adventurers of the past, and keep in mind that spirit of discovery. He goes on to coin the term pseudo-event which describes events or activities that serve little to no purpose other than to be reproduced through advertisements or other forms of publicity.

Scientists were fighting each other as often as the Boorsin, the intense conflict between Leibniz and Newton being a case in point. Grossly underestimating the distance to Asia, he was lucky America was there. Huygens made a watch with a balance spring.

The Discoverers

Then there is Nature – if you want to discuss a particular plant or animal, how do you know you are discussing the same ones someone half the globe away is? One of the best features of The Discoverers is a wonderful bibliography wherein Boorstin not only lists, but discusses his voluminous source material.

For Jews, remembering the past was the way to remember their God.


Oct 17, Mamluk Qayser rated it really liked it Shelves: Genoa’s first mechanical public clock was made in Milan. Caught in the Cross Fire. View all 4 comments. This books is unabashedly biased, but you know he is biased and you know what that bias is.

Despite the fact that he served as director of the Smithsonian National Boodstin of History and Technologyhe was a sharp critic of what he perceived as the institution’s growing political correctness. The seventeenth century was also the turning point in physics and mathematics.

Boorstin documents discovrers wonderful conversational and personal prose the historical process of discovery of the heavensearth and man – of himself and his place in the cosmos. In” Rake’s Progress” Hogarth tries to solve the puzzle of longitude.

The Rise of the Equal Hour.

And to discoverera a watch, you need a reason for Time to be cut up in those pieces. This is of particular interest to me for dealing with the watchmaker Well, phew. But I really did enjoy it. Overall, a highly enjoyable book with prodigious amounts of information to digest. Just as with the discovery of new lands, the discovery of the macro and microscopic realms were inhibited by the doctrinaire Church, the widespread presumption of already knowing, and dkscoverers on intuition.

Not that he ignores other major cultures with many references to IslamIndia and China. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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

Galen and Dioscorides developed new ideas about medicine in the first and second centuries but even into the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries medical students simply took these ancient writings as bible rather than develop new ideas themselves.

The conflict between traditional sources of authority and liberating technologies provides an excellent context in which to understand the current political upheavals as the Internet, AI, and robotics reshape our language, culture, and expectations.


Wikiquote has quotations related to: The focus is on this process in the west mostly through science and technologywith some passing reference to philosophy and religion. While Boorstin made many valiant attempts to form connections in the reader’s mind – “Like Balboa speculating on the extent of his great Southern Ocean, or Galileo delighting in the new infinity of the stars, so Leeuwenhoek luxuriated in the minuteness of [cells] and their infinitely vast populations.

It’s certainly Eurocentric but not absolutely – for instance, there’s some very interesting stuff about the religious and cultural tolerance of Genghis Khan’s Mongol empire, despite its ‘barbarian’ reputation.

The Discoverers – Daniel J. Boorstin – Google Books

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. These general topics didcoverers related to the reader through the stories of the explorers and scientists who uncovered new lands and new knowledge, and Boorstin’s smooth writing style and talent for both panoramic surveys and detailed explanations should make the content stick in the mind a bit better than the somewhat disjointed style of most textbooks.

China, for example, only allowed dicoverers ruling class indulgence in scientific ventures. Mar 06, Bruce rated it it was amazing. This book is about discovery and those interested in a deeper understanding of why the West rose to prominence should boorsrin to Civilization: