Next book

The Pursuit of Wisdom


A tribute to humanity’s inquisitive spirit and a useful guidebook for readers looking for a little inspiration or purpose.

Awards & Accolades

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

An exploration of man’s evolving search for answers, featuring short profiles of historically influential theologians, philosophers, scientists, and mathematicians.

Chavooshian’s debut is a chronicle of figures who dared to ask the most significant questions about man’s existence. Some were theologians, such as Jesus Christ, Muhammad, and Ramakrishna, positing man’s place in the universe and the nature of his creation; others were scientists, such as Hippocrates, Charles Darwin, or Albert Einstein, who dared to question the mechanics of the physical world. Many of them owed the language and manner of their ideas to early philosophers, including Plato, Socrates, and Sun Tzu, whose methods would be adopted (and sometimes rejected) by later figures, such as Søren Kierkegaard, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Friedrich Nietzsche. Chavooshian profiles all these people, along with more than 70 other great thinkers from throughout history, in loose chronological order, summarizing their contributions in succinct but thoroughly researched chapters, sometimes accompanied by images. Despite each chapter’s thrift, they present their subjects’ achievements with great enthusiasm, offering commentary on how earlier schools of thought helped shape their ideas. Each chapter ends with a helpful, encouraging list of each figure’s principal works. Chavooshian presents theologians of Islamic, Buddhist, and Hindu origins alongside Christian teachers and features Arab and other Eastern philosophers alongside Western peers. In nearly all cases, he presents their ideas without judgment, although he does take note when he believes that certain ways of thinking lead to violence, fascism, or anti-Semitism—such as Muslim theologian Al-Ghazali’s development of Sharia law or the twisting of Karl Marx’s communism. Although it’s by no means a comprehensive collection—it’s particularly light on philosophers, theologians, and scientists from the 20th century, for example—it makes for an excellent reference source on some of the most influential people in mankind’s pursuit of knowledge.

A tribute to humanity’s inquisitive spirit and a useful guidebook for readers looking for a little inspiration or purpose.

Pub Date: Dec. 18, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4787-4372-9

Page Count: 446

Publisher: Outskirts Press Inc.

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2016

Next book



Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

Next book


This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

Close Quickview