The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Discoverers demonstrates the truth behind the aphorism that if Cleopatra's nose had been shorter, the face of the world would have been changed. Boorstin goes on to uncover the elements of accident, improvisation and contradiction at the core of American institutions and beliefs.
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Daniel J. Boorstin was the author of The Americans, a trilogy (The Colonial Experience, The National Experience, and The Democratic Experience) that won the Francis Parkman Prize, the Bancroft Prize, and the Pulitzer Prize. In 1989, he received the National Book Award for lifetime contribution to literature. He was the director of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, and for twelve years served as the Librarian of Congress. He died in 2004.From Booklist:
The amusingly cryptic title of Boorstin's rigorous essay collection comes from a line of Pascal's: "Cleopatra's nose, had it been shorter, the whole face of the world would have been changed." This observation appeals to Boorstin's penetrating sense of history and of "the crucial role of the accidental and the trivial." The Librarian of Congress Emeritus and one of the world's most widely read historians, Boorstin is a skilled essayist. Here he revisits his favorite subjects--American history, exploration, science, and technology--but uses them as conduits for fresh perceptions into our fractured era. He begins by putting a spin on his signature theme of discovery by discussing the value of "negative" discoveries: proving that certain things don't exist or aren't possible. This leads to an illuminating piece on the merging of the discoverer and the inventor, a union that gave life to a new personality: the scientist. In the midst of his thoughts on the role of machines in our lives, Boorstin turns his attention to human nature and presents us with two ardent and shrewd essays about conscience. One examines conscience and the art of writing; the other traces the roots of political correctness to a "startling renaissance of the New England conscience." Boorstin forces us to think clearly about the consequences of "Balkanizing" America and the habit of defining ourselves as victims. One of the many pleasures of reading is watching great minds at work; Boorstin's is one of the finest. Donna Seaman
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Descripción Random House USA Inc, United States, 1995. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. This provocative new collection of essays by a Pulitzer Prize winner deals with the challenging themes of discovery and surprise in history. Cleopatra s Nose is not a miscellany but rather a selection of recent essays illustrating specific subjects that have preoccupied Boorstin for several decades. Tantalizing themes all: How sometimes discovery only increases our ignorance. What were the specific historical opportunities in the New World? How has the fourth kingdom - the kingdom of machines - contradicted Darwinian expectations, contributed to a confusion of statistics, created the need for the unnecessary, and highlighted the paradoxes of science and the politics of common sense? In a personal postscript, Boorstin gives us a memorable and affectionate portrait of his father and optimistically celebrates the United States as the Land of the Unexpected. Nº de ref. de la librería BTE9780679755180
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