The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

October 1, 2016

October 1, 1914

Daniel Boorstin (October 1, 1914 to February 28, 2004) was a Pulitzer winning historian. His book The Discoverers,(1983) was one of three he wrote, which had a fresh format for organizing historical sagas. The Discoverers was "an original history of man's greatest adventure: his search to discover the world around him". People like Linnaeus were the subject; Linnaeus "set up the genus Felis,[which] included the lion, tiger, leopard, jaguar, ocelot, cat, and lynx, and designated them by their common Latin names, Leo, Tigris, Pardus, Onca, Pardalis, Catus, and Lynx."

The cover of that book features a fellow peering out beyond the stars to see ulterior gears. Boorstin prefaces the book with a quote from Shakespeare:

And take upon one 's the mystery of things
As if we were God's spies.

That charming cover picture is a 19th century illustration, which I only mention since many assume it has some relevance to the Renaissance.

The other books, equally hefty, include The Creators: a history of heroes of the imagination, (1993) which has a painting by Michaelangelo on the cover.

The Seekers: The Story of Man's Continuing Quest to Understand His World (1998) has a picture of god on the cover-- Blake's geometrician god.

Boorstin was a prolific scholar and this last trilogy is a plausible culmination of an interest which manifested itself 30 years earlier, with the study of American history, and The Lost World of Thomas Jefferson (1953).


No comments: