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The Seekers by Daniel J. Boorstin

The Seekers:
Man's Continuing Quest To Understand His World
By Daniel J. Boorstin / Random House 1998

 

Based on the overall concept that all human beings are Seekers ceaselessly asking fundamental questions about existence, The Seekers is a thoroughly engrossing blend of history and philosophy, and on a personal level, it is an inspirational book as well.

Weaving a thread from ancient times to modern day by examining the works of great thinkers ranging from Socrates to Thomas Jefferson to Einstein, Boorstin ties together over two centuries of ideas and writings, to illuminate mankind's continual quest for the eternal "Why".

Very broad in historical scope, yet intimate and compelling, this story of Western civilization's search for meaning is told in a way that superimposes on the map of history an overlay of common purpose and theme, bringing to vivid life our journey thus far, and shining a light into the paths awaiting in the future.

I enjoyed this book on several different levels. It is immensely rich in history, personality and anecdote, and it has already become a favorite reference source. On another level, The Seekers presents a challenge to find meaning in the act of seeking itself. Boorstin's concept of the journey itself as fulfilling, the reaching of a destination as mere marker for the beginning of another journey, made the book a rich source of food for thought. Rarely has history and philosophy been so stimulating, so much fun to read.

Along with an expanded resources chapter, synchronized with the structure of the book, Boorstin, former Librarian of Congress and the author of The Creators and The Discovers , discusses his recommended reading sources in-depth, including various edition and translation comparisons.

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