The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Discoverers demonstrates the truth behind the aphorism that if Cleopatra's nose had been shorter, the face of the world would have been changed. Boorstin goes on to uncover the elements of accident, improvisation and contradiction at the core of American institutions and beliefs.
Daniel J. Boorstin is also the author of The Americans, a trilogy that won the Francis Parkman Prize, the Bancroft Prize, and the Pulitzer Prize. In 1989, he received the National Book Award for lifetime contribution to literature. He was the director of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, and for twelve years served as the Librarian of Congress. He lives with his wife and editor, Ruth F. Boorstin, in Washington, D.C.