Dr. Daniel J. Boorstin: Great American Author and Historian

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Dr. Daniel J. Boorstin: Great American Author and Historian

Dr. Daniel J. Boorstin (1914- ) holds many honorable positions and has

received numerous awards for his notable work. He is one of America's most

eminent historians, the author of more than fifteen books and numerous

articles on the history of the United States, as well as a creator of a

television show. His editor-wife, Ruth Frankel Boorstin, a Wellesley

graduate, has been his close collaborator.

Born in Atlanta, Georgia, and raised in Oklahoma, he received his

undergraduate degree with highest honors from Harvard and his doctor's

degree from Yale. He has spent a great deal of his life abroad, first in

England as a Rhodes Scholar at Balliol College, Oxford. More recently he

has been visiting professor of American History at the University of Rome,

Italy, the University of Geneva, Switzerland, and at Kyoto University,

Japan. He was the first incumbent of the chair of American History at the

Sorbonne, and was the Professor of American History and Institutions as

well as Fellow of Trinity College, at Cambridge University. He has been

director of the National Museum of American History and the Librarian of

Congress Emeritus. He is a member of the Massachusetts Bar and has

practiced law. He has received more than fifty honorary degrees and has

been honored by the governments of France, Belgium and Portugal. In 1989 he

received the National Book Award for Distinguished Contributions to

American Letters by the NationalBook Foundation.

Dr. Boorstin's many books include the trilogy The Americans: The Colonial

Experience, which won the Bancroft Prize, The Americans: The National

Experience, which won the Parkman Prize, and The Americans: The Democr...

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...the wrapping of items often costs more

than their contents, in Dr. Boorstin's words, add up to the "thinner life

of things"(Boorstin,1973). The quest for novelty has brought, along with

its rewards, a new bewilderment over what people really mean by something

new. The very idea of progress is displaced by the rate of growth.

According to Dr. Boorstin, all of that adds up to the Democratic Experience.

This book aims at a balanced assessment of the price and the promise of

what American civilization has done with and for and to Americans.

The book's anecdotal style makes it a great reading experience. However,

Boorstin omits many happenings that had a great impact on American culture,

such as the labor movement and the Vietnam War. Boorstin may "dislike

important events"(Mohs,1973). However, those two events are too important

for any historian to ignore.

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