A History of Man's Search to Know His World and Himself
By Daniel J. Boorstin (1983)
In this majestic history of science, the first entry in the Knowledge Trilogy (followed by The Creators: A History of Heroes of the Imagination  and The Seekers: The Story of Man's Continuing Quest to Understand His World ), Boorstin, Librarian of Congress Emeritus and previous director of the National Museum for History and Technology and the Smithsonian Institution, tells the story of how we came to understand our world. He presents stories of discovery in many forms--from exploration to science, medicine, geology, anatomy and mathematics--and taking an individual approach to the study of historical change, he examines scientific pioneers such as Galileo, Newton, Columbus, Darwin, Gutenberg, Brahe, and Freud, who broke with the past. Although rather idiosyncratic and biased toward Western science and culture, few volumes provide such insight into different cultures' searches for understanding of the natural and physical world.