A History of the World in 100 Objects

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9780670022700: A History of the World in 100 Objects

From the renowned director of the British Museum, a kaleidoscopic history of humanity told through things we have made.

When did people first start to wear jewelry or play music? When were cows domesticated and why do we feed their milk to our children? Where were the first cities and what made them succeed? Who invented math-or came up with money?

The history of humanity is a history of invention and innovation, as we have continually created new items to use, to admire, or to leave our mark on the world. In this original and thought-provoking book, Neil MacGregor, director of the British Museum, has selected one hundred man-made artifacts, each of which gives us an intimate glimpse of an unexpected turning point in human civilization. A History of the World in 100 Objects stretches back two million years and covers the globe. From the very first hand axe to the ubiquitous credit card, each item has a story to tell; together they relate the larger history of mankind-revealing who we are by looking at what we have made.

Handsomely designed, with more than 150 color photographs throughout the text, A History of the World in 100 Objects is a gorgeous reading book and makes a great gift for anyone interested in history.

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Review:

Amazon Best Books of the Month, November 2011: In A History of the World in 100 Objects, Neal MacGregor, director of the British Museum, takes readers on a tour of the world by way of its material goods. From everyday items such as pots, utensils, and money to valuables such as art and jewelry, MacGregor shows that the things humans have left behind are often as rich and informative as written texts. Whether it’s a strange and unique object like a throne made of rifles from Mozambique or a medieval German crystal, or a familiar one like a sculpture of the head of Augustus or Hokusai's painting The Great Wave, MacGregor skillfully weaves each one into the fabric of the society that it came from. In that sense, the book is much more than a museum catalog: it's a hundred keyhole views into a hundred different societies from around the world and throughout history.

About the Author:

Neil MacGregor has been the director of the British Museum since 2002; prior to that, he was the director of the National Gallery in London. A popular presenter on BBC television and radio, he was named Briton of the Year in 2008. He lives in England.

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