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The first book in a trilogy--and in many respects the best of the bunch--The Colonial Experience is an essential interpretation of how the habits of people who lived more than two centuries ago shaped the lives of modern Americans. Boorstin shows how an undiscovered continent shattered long-standing traditions and utopian fantasies with the hard demands of everyday life far from the sophisticated centers of European civilization: "Old categories were shaken up, and new situations revealed unsuspected uses for old knowledge," writes Boorstin. He starts with a series of penetrating essays on the Puritans of Massachusetts, the Quakers of Pennsylvania, the philanthropists of Georgia, and the planters of Virginia, then tackles a set of diffuse topics that range from astronomy to language to medicine in fascinating vignettes.
The Colonial Experience is must reading for anybody interested in the development of the American character. --John J. Miller
Daniel J Boorstin was born in 1914 and educated at Harvard, Yale, and Oxford. He is Librarian of Congress Emeritus, having directed the US national library from 1979-1987. He had previously been Director of the National Museum for History and Technology and of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC. He taught at the University of Chicago for twenty-five years. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
I love to read American history and Daniel Boorstin is one of the best. After reading this book, I had a much better understanding of the American colonial experience. Read morePublished on Aug. 9 2001 by Bill
I was assigned to read this book for AP History over the summer. There is a lot of interesting and accurate information in this book, however, at some points there is far too... Read morePublished on Sept. 19 2000
this book was assigned reading for an AP US history class. It had a lot of information -- more than was neccessary -- and lots of tiny details that seemed unimportant. Read morePublished on Sept. 17 1999
Boorstin outlines the fundamentals and development of American consumerism and capitalism of the 19th Century. Read morePublished on June 8 1999
this book was well written for a historical book, but unless you have to read it for a history class i wouldn't reccommend it to anyone.Published on March 1 1999
Once again Boorstin has demonstrated his brilliant analytic historical vision. This book is a well documented presentation of the factors and characteristics of the colonial... Read morePublished on Jan. 26 1999