Happy Holidays! The 12 Days of LT scavenger hunt is going on. Can you solve the clues?
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Discoverers: A History of Man's…

The Discoverers: A History of Man's Search to Know His World and… (original 1983; edition 1983)

by Daniel J. Boorstin

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,530312,168 (4.06)35
Title:The Discoverers: A History of Man's Search to Know His World and Himself
Authors:Daniel J. Boorstin
Info:Random House (1983), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 747 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Discoverers by Daniel J. Boorstin (1983)


Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 35 mentions

English (29)  Dutch (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (31)
Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
Fabulous! ( )
  ksmedberg | Aug 15, 2018 |
I just finished rereading this. It took a while. It's a very l-o-n-g book about a great many things and people. - What I especially like is that this work of history concentrates on the important stuff, not the wars and generals or rulers of nations, but man's progressive discovery of the world and himself. The stuff you usually find in history books is a backdrop, a part of the setting to the real story of what people have accomplished. I recommend it for people interested in the evolution of human thought and understanding of the universe. ( )
  DLMorrese | Oct 14, 2016 |
A history of man's search to know his world and himself. The achievements of Galileo, Columbus, Darwin, Gutenberg and Freud emerged as upwellings of creativity and courage, ingenious acts of revolt against ingrained habit. This richly illustrated two-volume edition reveals the world as known to the discovers themselves. We see the tools of discovery--Egyptian obelisks, early clocks, Leeuwenhoek's microscope, Mercator's maps, botanical drawings from... ( )
This review has been flagged by multiple users as abuse of the terms of service and is no longer displayed (show).
  Tutter | Feb 20, 2015 |
Outstanding summary of how we came to know details regarding time, navigation, and multiple aspects of science. ( )
  tgeorge2348 | Feb 3, 2015 |
Dry reading, but TONS of information -- the history of science and scientific thought and even the history of the social sciences, including the history of history. Fascinating between the drier portions. ( )
1 vote AliceAnna | Oct 19, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Daniel J. Boorstinprimary authorall editionscalculated
Aulicino, RobertCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
And take upon 's the mystery of things,
As if we were God's spies.

Shakespeare, King Lear, v. 3
(Title page)
Nay, the same Soloman the king, although he excelled in the glory of treasure and magnificent buildings, of shipping and navigation, of service and attendance, of fame and renown, and the like, yet he maketh no claim to any of these glories, but only to the glory of inquisition of truth; for so he saith expressly, "The glory of God is to conceal a thing, but the glory of the king is to find it out"; as if, according to the innocent play of children, the Divine Majesty took delight to hide his works, to the end to have them found out; and as if kings could not obtain a greater honor than to be God's play-fellows in that game.

Francis Bacon, The Advancement of Learning (1605)
Time is the greatest innovator.

Francis Bacon, "Of Innovations" (1625)

(Book One)
God did not create the planets and stars with the intention that they should dominate man, but that they, like other creatures, should obey and serve him. Paracelsus, Concerning the Nature of Things (c. 1541) (Book One, Part One)
For Ruth
First words
From far-northwest Greenland to the southernmost tip of Patagonia, people hail the new moon—a time for singing and praying, eating and drinking.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (4)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0394726251, Paperback)

Perhaps the greatest book by one of our greatest historians, The Discoverers is a volume of sweeping range and majestic interpretation. To call it a history of science is an understatement; this is the story of how humankind has come to know the world, however incompletely ("the eternal mystery of the world," Einstein once said, "is its comprehensibility"). Daniel J. Boorstin first describes the liberating concept of time--"the first grand discovery"--and continues through the age of exploration and the advent of the natural and social sciences. The approach is idiosyncratic, with Boorstin lingering over particular figures and accomplishments rather than rushing on to the next set of names and dates. It's also primarily Western, although Boorstin does ask (and answer) several interesting questions: Why didn't the Chinese "discover" Europe and America? Why didn't the Arabs circumnavigate the planet? His thesis about discovery ultimately turns on what he calls "illusions of knowledge." If we think we know something, then we face an obstacle to innovation. The great discoverers, Boorstin shows, dispel the illusions and reveal something new about the world.

Although The Discoverers easily stands on its own, it is technically the first entry in a trilogy that also includes The Creators and The Seekers. An outstanding book--one of the best works of history to be found anywhere. --John J. Miller

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:15 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

In Boorstin's 1983 bestseller The Discoverers , the achievements of Galileo, Columbus, Darwin, Gutenberg and Freud emerged as upwellings of creativity and courage, ingenious acts of revolt against ingrained habit. This richly illustrated two-volume edition reveals the world as known to the discovers themselves.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (4.06)
0.5 1
1 4
1.5 2
2 10
2.5 5
3 71
3.5 17
4 132
4.5 13
5 143

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 130,918,740 books! | Top bar: Always visible