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The Seekers: The Story of Man's Continuing Quest to Understand His World Knowledge Trilogy (Knowledge Trilogy #3)

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  531 ratings  ·  26 reviews
A New York Times Notable Book of the Year

From the author of The Discoverers and The Creators, an incomparable history of man's essential questions: "Who are we?" and "Why are we here?"

Daniel J. Boorstin, the bestselling and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Americans, introduces us to some of the great pioneering seekers whose faith and thought have for centuries led ma
Paperback, 368 pages
Published October 26th 1999 by Vintage (first published September 1st 1998)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,278)
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Holly Lindquist
The first two books in Daniel Boorstin's Knowledge Trilogy, The Discoverers (about science) and The Creators (about art), are both outstanding examples of comprehensive history done well. They're weighty books, but the fascinating information and engaging writing do much to offset their intimidating girth.

This third volume and final volume, The Seekers, is half their size and unfortunately about half as interesting. (Granted, Boorstin's a very interesting writer, so half as interesting in a Boo
The Seekers is a completely readable journey through Western thought. As the last volume of Boorstein's trilogy which also includes The Creators A History of Heroes of the Imagination and The Discoverers, the Seekers is by the far the weakest (and shortest) of the three. Starting with the Hebrew prophets and going through Greek thought up to and including the modern day, Boorstein's theme is "seeking." That is, the continuing effort of human beings to understand their world.

At first, he picks fa
This was a truly magnificent effort for Boorstin. I love the "new"ish way history is presented within it's historical, geographical, cultural milieu . . . not just as if it happened in a vacuum.
Boorstin seems to be a genius in this form of writing . . . giving the subject a sense of time and place.
I tend to approach many of my readings as textural projects . . . reading, re-reading, and underlining . . . and for that reason, it usually takes me two to three times to "finish" a book than usual. B
David Withun
What makes this book unique (and an uniquely excellent read) from among the many intellectual histories out there is the perspective from which Boorstin approaches his subjects and the aspect of his various subjects which he focuses on. Rather than looking, as most intellectual histories do, at what the conclusions, ideas, and dogmas of their various subjects are, Boorstin instead examines the act of seeking itself. In the process, he introduces us to the means of seeking answers to life's great ...more
A truly amazing journey. I loved the idea that seekers were always prepared by the context in which they lived, but it took *that* specific person with *that* specific background in *that* specific climate to make the next jump.

It's interesting to think about human thought in a group-conscious sort of way.

Someday I'll eventually put some quotes down before I forget them. Fuck, I already forgot them.
hmm, a disappointment given how amazing I found The Discoverers and The Seekers. seemed like the main weakness was a lack of precision about what made one a seeker. the fuzziness of that definition made it hard to to judge the significance of a seeker's impact, to connect each seeker to the rest that followed -- which is the whole magic of Boorstin's style in his other works.
Starting out with ancient prophets and telling the evolutionary story of seekers of meaning all the way through to Einstein, this book is one of the few special histories that I've diligently read from cover to cover, knowing that I was listening to the perspective a wise and highly erudite mind.

I consider myself to be an amateur seeker, a wandering wonderer.
This is a thorough survey of men throughout history who have applied themselves to figuring out the meaning of life and the world. Boorstin touches briefly on everyone from Socrates to Einstein, spending just a few pages on each. It's a good introduction and interesting to see everything laid out roughly chronologically and compared.
A fantastic book from a fantastic series that I am revisiting now after several years - in The Seekers Boorstin follows the search for meaning and understanding throughout history, focusing especially (to my mind) on philosophy (Socrates, Plato, Aristotle) and later science (Einstein).
I thought boorstin's book The Discoverers" was very good, I learned a lot about inventions and how people viewed the world at different times through history. I was disappointed in The Seekers. It did not hold ny interest (I only read about half of it) and seemed more disjointed, less cohesive.
The concluding part of Daniel Boorstin's great historical trilogy and this volume focuses on the philosophers and religious icons of history. Once again, a very detailed and densely written history but the amount of information is amazing and well worth the time.
David Melbie
Aug 31, 2014 David Melbie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: History fans
Recommended to David by: library pick
Now I have completed the trilogy, although I was hoping for more (the book is a fraction of what the first two are) and got less, it is worthy of the trilogy because of the way that it beautifully ties in with the first two books. An excellent read, indeed!
There was nothing really earth-shattering or mind-blowing about this book. He simply discussed some of the the great philosophers of our time. There were interesting tidbits thrown in from time to time, but it was a very slow read.
Nicolas Shump
Another great Western Civ resource book. Boorstin, who is a distinguished American historian and former Librarian of Congress, effortlessly makes his way through a survey of religious and philosophical biggies.
I got about 30 pages into this book, but put it down. It wasn't holding my attention at all. (Not a slight against the brilliant Boorstin; reading about philosophers and thinkers just isn't my thing.)
Dec 16, 2014 Bill rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: owned
Classic Boorstin - a good way to get a quick and digestible understanding of various philosophers and scientific people in an entertaining way, that (when you were young), you'd never bother with.
Just as inspiring as The Discovers and The Creators. All three are magnificent because each volume is interesting and fun to read. History made entertaining; I like it!
An excellent survey of philosophy and the search for knowledge. As the Librarian of Congress, Boorstin must have had access to some incredible materials.
Pretty much a hodge-podge and chaotic, too little mention of the arts, not even a very good overview of Western intellectual history
A fantastic book from a man who seems to know everything about everything. Those librarians!
Andy Molino
Not as good as The Discoverers or The Creators, but a great compliment to the series.
Stopped reading this - hard to follow the author's style.
Heavy reading, but interesting and insightful.
Rose marked it as to-read
Jan 25, 2015
Linus Vieira
Linus Vieira marked it as to-read
Jan 20, 2015
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Daniel Joseph Boorstin was a historian, professor, attorney, and writer. He was appointed twelfth Librarian of the United States Congress from 1975 until 1987.

He graduated from Tulsa's Central High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma, at the age of 15. He graduated with highest honors from Harvard, studied at Balliol College, Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar and earned his PhD at Yale University. He was a lawyer
More about Daniel J. Boorstin...

Other Books in the Series

Knowledge Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Discoverers: A History of Man's Search to Know His World and Himself
  • The Creators: A History of Heroes of the Imagination
The Discoverers: A History of Man's Search to Know His World and Himself The Creators: A History of Heroes of the Imagination The Americans, Vol. 1: The Colonial Experience The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America The Americans, Vol. 3: The Democratic Experience

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