by Boorstin, Daniel J.
Historian Daniel J. Boorstin brings his customary depth and range to this compelling book on Western art, taking on everything from European megaliths (Stonehenge, for example) to Benjamin Franklin's autobiography ("the first American addition to world literature"). Boorstin does not aim at being comprehensive--he much prefers to linger over certain "heroes of the imagination" as he surveys human accomplishment in the fields of architecture, music, painting, sculpting, and writing--yet The Creators certainly feels comprehensive, as Boorstin carefully places everything he describes within a grand tradition of aesthetic achievement.
Boorstin knows that good history demands good writing, and his prose makes this big book easy to absorb. "This is a story," he writes, "of how creators in all the arts have enlarged, embellished, fantasized, and filigreed our experience"--an apt description of the role art plays in our life and an equally apt description of the way Boorstin interprets it for readers. (The Creators also is the second volume of a trilogy that starts with The Discoverers and concludes with The Seekers, although none of these books requires any knowledge of the others.) --John J. Miller