Far into the future, Hari Seldon predicts the end of the Galactic Empire and comes close to being executed for his views. He is the creator of the revolutionary science of psychohistory. He convinces those who wish for his death to allow him to preserve knowledge and save humanity, The best minds in the Empire are gathered and taken to a bleak planet at the edge of the galaxy to serve as a beacon of hope for future generations. He calls this sanctuary the Foundation. The novel takes us through a series of crisis as the Empire falls apart and Hari’s followers work to save civilization.
““No! Hari Seldon said in the Time Vault, that at each crisis our freedom of action would become circumscribed to the point where only one course of action was possible.” “So as to keep us on the straight and narrow?” “So as to keep us from deviating, yes. But, conversely, as long as more than one course of action is possible, the crisis has not been reached. We must let things drift so long as we possibly can, and by space, that’s what I intend doing.”
Seldon appears via hologram as his predicted crises occur. In each of the occurrences there is a person up to the task of leading the Foundation through the trouble… and generally without bloodshed.
“Then what of the future?” Mallow lifted his gloomy face, and exclaimed fiercely, “What business of mine is the future? No doubt Seldon has foreseen it and prepared against it. There will be other crises in the time to come when money power has become as dead a force as religion is now. Let my successors solve those new problems, as I have solved the one of today.”