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2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen provocative, fresh and coherent analysis
We used this as a textbook for my world studies class four years ago in high school. I think it is the best history text I have read. I found it extremely engaging and intelligent. I did not find van Doren pompous at all, as some of the worst reviews seem to indicate. The tone is not of pomposity; he seems to challenge history, stirring it up in an attempt to...
Am 12. März 1999 veröffentlicht

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3.0 von 5 Sternen Good introductory text.
The book is a good introductory text on general subjects; in addition it ties major themes well. However, the author's opinions and digressions are prosaic at best. If one is looking for a quick fix to an inadequate history education, this book is for you. However, if one is familiar with the themes of book, then try books form authors who provide more depth such as...
Veröffentlicht am 5. August 1998 von wchoi@econ.duke.edu


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2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen provocative, fresh and coherent analysis, 12. März 1999
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: A History of Knowledge: Past, Present, and Future (Taschenbuch)
We used this as a textbook for my world studies class four years ago in high school. I think it is the best history text I have read. I found it extremely engaging and intelligent. I did not find van Doren pompous at all, as some of the worst reviews seem to indicate. The tone is not of pomposity; he seems to challenge history, stirring it up in an attempt to find a fresh analysis. In the process he certainly leaves some details out. But I think van Doren took a lot of intellectual risks, and that his analysis was both rigorous and provocative.
As for his commentary on the scientific method, it should be noted that the author has a masters in astrophysics from Columbia. I don't remember him saying that science is more about math than concepts (as one reviewer said), but I think he is correct in a way. Even Einstein complained that there was more memorization of mathematical methods than he had originally thought. But certainly van Doren has enough of a scientific background to talk intelligently about the contributions of scientists.
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2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Fabulous the first time, just gets better with subsequent re, 5. Dezember 1998
Rezension bezieht sich auf: A History of Knowledge: Past, Present, and Future (Taschenbuch)
I have just finished this book for the third time. The first time I read it for pure pleasure (pleasure?? a history text?? Please!). Really, van Doren's mastery of his subjects is such that history really does come alive and everything begins to link together is a very understandable way. The second time I read the book was as a reference to a history course I was taking. The third time I read it was aloud to an elderly scholar friend who is going blind. On this occasion we taped it as I read, and he has listened to it several times since. I cannot tell you how much pleasure this book has brought into my friend's life, or mine. I have given copies of it to many friends and consider it to be the best $20 I have spent in a long while. Thank you Mr. Van Doren.
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2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Outstanding., 17. Februar 1998
Rezension bezieht sich auf: A History of Knowledge: Past, Present, and Future (Taschenbuch)
I wish I had read this book when I was in high school or college; nevertheless, I greatly enjoyed it at age 38. The author does an exceptionally good job of summarizing the important ideas and movements in western history and showing the big picture. I'm going to buy a copy of the book so that my sons will have it available when they reach the appropriate age.
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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen An ambitious project, 19. Dezember 2005
Rezension bezieht sich auf: A History of Knowledge: Past, Present, and Future (Taschenbuch)
Charles Van Doren undertook an ambitious project in this book, which according to its cover blurb purports to be 'a compendium of everything that humankind has thought, invented, created, considered, and perfected from the beginning of civilisation into the twenty-first century.'
There are, alas, a few things missing, as this book only has a bit over 400 pages. But that does not really detract from the thesis of the book; it is certainly a worthy outline of human history, particularly approached through the lens of intellectual achievement and the advance of knowledge.
Van Doren, as you may recall, is the Van Doren who got caught up in the quiz show scandals of the 1950s. Ironic that this fate should befall him, as his learning would obviously put to shame the current crop of would-be millionaires so popular on the television today. But, I digress.
Van Doren spent the two decades before writing this book as an editor for Encyclopedia Britannica. He has put together a worthy outline to knowledge, broad in scope and with just enough detail to satisfy the hunger and whet the appetite simultaneously.
`The voluminous literature dealing with the idea of human progress is decidedly a mixed bag. While some of these writings are impressive and even inspiring, many of them are superficial, perhaps even ridiculous, in their reiteration (especially during the nineteenth century) of the comforting prospect that every day in every way we are growing better and better.'
Van Doren does believe in progress, but not in inevitable progress. He distinguishes between general knowledge and knowledge of particulars, and explores the inter-relationship of knowledge and happiness:
`The desire to know, when you realise you do not know, is universal and probably irresistible. It was the original temptation of mankind, and no man or woman, and especially no child, can overcome it for long. But it is a desire, as Shakespeare said, that grows by what it feeds on. It is impossible to slake the thirst for knowledge. And the more intelligent you are, the more this is so.'
Van Doren explores the advance of knowledge by time periods, then divided into general discussions with a specific centre. I give as an example the outline of topics in the chapter entitled An Age of Revolutions
An Age of Revolutions
- The Industrial Revolution
- Human Machines and Mechanical Humans
- An Age of Reason and Revolution
- John Locke and the Revolution of 1688
- Property, Government, and Revolution
- Two Kinds of Revolution
- Thomas Jefferson and the Revolution of 1776
- The Declaration of Independence
- Property in Rights
- Robespierre, Napoleon, and the Revolution of 1789
- The Rise of Equality
- Mozart's Don Giovanni
- Goethe's Faust
Van Doren's own agenda and prejudice show through (a desire for the curbing of the rights of nation-states in favour of a one-world government, for instance -- without much detail about how that government would be constituted; after all, he is a realist who recognises that there's no point to such idle speculation in a history text), but he always returns to his charge of presenting the history of the whole through various parts.
His final chapter, entitled `The Next Hundred Years' examines the possible developments and societal changes (which we are already beginning to see) due to computers, chaos science, increased space exploration, genetic engineering and genome mapping, and an ever-present companion in history, war.
This is a well-written exploration of world history written with clarity and style. It makes an excellent companion piece for almost any intellectual field.
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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen A History of 'Western' Knowledge, 13. Juli 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: A History of Knowledge: Past, Present, and Future (Taschenbuch)
This book doesn't quite accomplish what its title promises to. After reading through all the chapters, I felt that I had been given a very good overview of how things came to be the way they are for western thought. Anything not traditionally thought of as the West has been mostly ignored throughout. Sure, there are token chapters devoted to the Egyptians, Babylonians, Chinese, and Arabs, but nothing beyond that. Chinese civilization and thought was advanced way before anything approaching it appeared in the Old World, but Van Doren does not make any in depth examination of their knowledge and their thinkers. Similarly, nothing is said of Arabic studies in astronomy, medicine, and history, though philosophy is mentioned. Same goes for the Egyptians. With that said, I think the book is a great read if one is trying to understand the History of Knowledge in the West. There is expansive coverage of the Greeks, the Romans, the Middle Ages of Europe, the Renaissance, and so on. During his discussions, the author provides some incisive comments and thoughts on the way things are now and ties them very nicely to the great events that occurred in Western thinking.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Definitely for history lovers, 10. Mai 2000
Von 
Travis Cottreau (Wellington, New Zealand) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
(REAL NAME)   
Rezension bezieht sich auf: A History of Knowledge: Past, Present, and Future (Taschenbuch)
This is an excellent history text. I've used it as a reference for years, although I haven't read it through from beginning to end at any time.
So you want to know when Newton influenced physics and wrote his books? What about Descartes? Arsitotle? It's all in there. It covers how knowledge was created and spread throughout history.
This book seemed obviously influenced by James Burke's "Connections" science series on TV. I can't think of many better influences actually, as it was one of the best learning series ever done for television.
Because of the small size of the book, it's more of an overview than a super-detailed historic tome, but I am always surprised at how much the author does cover. I've rarely found a significant scientific or knowledge discovery/event that has been missed in the text.
I highly recommend this book.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Made me a lover of history, 29. Januar 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: A History of Knowledge: Past, Present, and Future (Taschenbuch)
This book was the key that opened my eyes to human history. I had never really thought much about how hunters and gatherers lived. Nor did I know that Aristotle was a pupil of Plato. Great overview and interesting reading from the start.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Loved this book, 29. Oktober 1999
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: A History of Knowledge: Past, Present, and Future (Taschenbuch)
Loved this book. Trying to condense the history of human knowledge into a single coherent and engaging book is a feat that few could achieve. You may not agree with all of Van Doren's selections or perspectives but then every scholar would make somewhat different selections in trying to pull together, condense, and analyze a topic of this scope. The first chapter or so starts a little slow for some but hang in there, it only gets better.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen A Practical Overview of the History of Ideas, 5. Oktober 1999
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: A History of Knowledge: Past, Present, and Future (Taschenbuch)
This book has little place for serious historians or philosophers. However, it is an efficiently written and engaging overview of the story of human thought suitable for the rest of us. Van Doren exceeded my expectations by balancing factual exposition with his own insights and viewpoint. He respects the past enough not to taint it with modern perspectives and respects the future enough to add a disclaimer to his speculations.
This work can be easily criticized for not including everything or missing certain very important lessons of history. If one thinks his treatment of Rome is incomplete, go read Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire!
A History of Knowledge must be looked at as what its intended, a broad work meeting the needs of budding intellectuals or specialized insects like myself seeking to become more renaissance in their own knowledge. That end it certainly achieves.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen An Excellent Comprehensive of Human Knowledge, 15. September 1999
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: A History of Knowledge: Past, Present, and Future (Taschenbuch)
I loved this book! The author has a wonderful ability to bring out the depths of his knowledge in a dynamic way so as to respect the overall theme: "A general history of human knowledge". His insights are compassionate and honest. I disagree with him that the "Warm and Fuzzy" computers of the future will not lend a helping had to human nature. To the contrary I believe that such computers will have tremendous potential to change humanity. Time will tell. I DO agree however with his view that computers have no instict or desire to revolt or take over the world. Anyhow, I respect his views on this and many other subjects. Great book... Lighten up Herbie Stemple fans.
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A History of Knowledge: Past, Present, and Future
A History of Knowledge: Past, Present, and Future von Charles Van Doren (Taschenbuch - 17. März 1992)
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