The Seekers: The Story of Man's Continuing Quest to Understand His World
Author: Daniel J. Boorstin
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Release Date: February 15, 2001
From the time of Socrates to today, humans have sought the answers to fundamental questions: Who are we? Why are we here? Previous bestsellers, The Discoverers & The Creators, told how we discovered the reality of our world, then celebrated artistic achievements. Boorstin now turns to the great figures in history who sought meaning & purpose in existence. He says Western culture has seen three grand epics of Seeking. There was 1st the heroic way of prophets & philosophers--men like Moses, Job, Socrates, Plato & Aristotle, as well as those in the communities of the early church & the Protestant Reformation--seeking salvation or truth from the god above or the reason within everyone. Then came an age of communal seeking, with people like Thucydides & Thomas More, Machiavelli & Voltaire pursuing civilization & the liberal spirit. Finally, there was an age of the social sciences, when man seemed ruled by the forces of history. Here are the stories of exceptional men such as Marx, Spengler, Toynbee, Carlyle, Emerson, Malraux, Bergson & Einstein. These thinkers still have the power to speak to us, not always so much for their answers as for their way of asking the questions that intrigue or obsess. This climax to his trilogy again shows Boorstin's ability to present challenging ideas coupled with sharp portraits of great writers & thinkers.