Books: A History of Knowledge: Past, Present and Future by Charles Van Doren
Well … my friend Doug Kilponen has done it again … another stellar recommendation. Doug, the same guy who recommended Generations and the same guy who recommended Against the Gods (two of my favorite books) has topped himself again …
A History of Knowledge is just that — a history of humankind and our quest for knowledge. Van Doren, the former editor of Encyclopedia Brittanica writes this like a mini-encyclopedia — everything you need to know about history in 412 pages.
I must confess … I could not put this book down … people on the plane were looking at me funny as I stumbled to me seat because I insisted on reading this book while walking the aisles … no, it is not a novel with an original plot — but it does plot out human history and makes some extremely interesting observations along the way. Van Doren not only tells us what happened, but gives us his view on why it happened and links events to past and future events. He does all this with a lot of wit and humor.
Van Doren, you may remember, was the former Columbia professor that got cheating on “Quizz Show.” That happened well in the past.
This book, written back in 1992, is a must read for anyone who forgot the lessons of Aristotle, Newton, Napoleon, and the Ming Dynasty.
Summation: Read this book.