A History of the World in 100 Objects

by Neil MacGregor

Biography / Autobiography History

LoveReading View on A History of the World in 100 Objects

Shortlisted for the Galaxy Popular Non-Fiction Book of the Year Award 2011.

A distillation of mankind’s history through the objects that remain, a carefully chosen 100 objects from one of the earliest stone tools known to exist to the object Neil MacGregor has chosen to represent our own time. Taken from the British Museum’s own collection the objects reflect not only human history but the wealth of the Museum’s collections. The book is a wonderful object in its own right but you may wish to listen to the original BBC Radio 4 programmes which are available on audio CD.

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The Lovereading view...

Takes an original approach to the history of humanity, using objects which previous civilisations have left behind them, often accidentally, as prisms through which we can explore past worlds and the lives of the men and women who lived in them. An intellectual and visual feast, it is one of the most engrossing and unusual history books published in years.

Sue Baker

A History of the World in 100 Objects Synopsis

This book takes a dramatically original approach to the history of humanity, using objects which previous civilisations have left behind them, often accidentally, as prisms through which we can explore past worlds and the lives of the men and women who lived in them. The book's range is enormous. It begins with one of the earliest surviving objects made by human hands, a chopping tool from the Olduvai gorge in Africa, and ends with an object from the 21st century which represents the world we live in today. Neil MacGregor's aim is not simply to describe these remarkable things, but to show us their significance - how a stone pillar tells us about a great Indian emperor preaching tolerance to his people, how Spanish pieces of eight tell us about the beginning of a global currency or how an early Victorian tea-set tells us about the impact of empire. Each chapter immerses the reader in a past civilization accompanied by an exceptionally well-informed guide. Seen through this lens, history is a kaleidoscope - shifting, interconnected, constantly surprising, and shaping our world today in ways that most of us have never imagined. An intellectual and visual feast, it is one of the most engrossing and unusual history books published in years.

A History of the World in 100 Objects Press Reviews

'A History of the World in 100 Objects ... has been a triumph: hugely popular, and rightly lauded as one of the most effective and intellectually ambitious initiatives in the making of 'public history
for many decades.' -- John Adamson, Sunday Telegraph

 

'Highly intelligent, delightfully written and utterly absorbing' -- Timothy Clifford, Spectator

 

'Allen Lane has done Mr MacGregor proud... The objects have been beautifully photographed, Mr MacGregor's voice comes through distinctively and his arguments about the interconnectedness of disparate societies through the ages are all the stronger for the detail afforded by extra space. A book to savour and start over' Economist

 

'This is a story book, vivid and witty, shining with insights, connections, shocks and delights'-- Gillian Reynolds, Daily Telegraph

 

'The style is authentic, personal and humorous. MacGregor could not have skewered our pretensions better...Look on our works, ye mighty, and despair' -- Andrew Roberts, Financial Times

 

'Brilliant, engagingly written, deeply researched' -- Mary Beard, Guardian

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781846145117
Publication date: 06/10/2011
Publisher: Allen Lane an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781846145117
Publication date: 6th October 2011
Author: Neil MacGregor
Publisher: Allen Lane an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd
Format: Hardback
Genres: Biography / Autobiography, History,
Categories:

About Neil MacGregor

Neil MacGregor has been Director of the British Museum since 2002. Before that he was Director of the National Gallery from 1987 to 2002. He was 'Briton of the Year' in 2008.

More About Neil MacGregor

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