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A History of the World in 100 Objects by…

A History of the World in 100 Objects (original 2010; edition 2011)

by Neil Macgregor

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2,324426,697 (4.16)84
Traces the stories of one hundred human innovations to explain their pivotal role in shaping civilization, from weapons and the domestication of cows to currency and music.
Title:A History of the World in 100 Objects
Authors:Neil Macgregor
Info:Penguin (2011), Kindle Edition, 604 pages
Collections:Your library

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A History of the World in 100 Objects by Neil MacGregor (2010)


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Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
A great nightstand book. Can't sleep, there are many short chapters but be careful this book can become addictive. ( )
  Huba.Library | Jan 31, 2024 |
I got to like the 6th object and immediately put it down on reading something like "But why did early humans migrate to new areas? Here's what Michael Palin, who's done a lot of travelling, thinks". I'm just extremely not interested in what some random famous person thinks! Before this you have Rowan Williams saying why a carved mammoth horn is a sign of early humans getting into "the rhythm of life" and claiming that's what religion is all about. An extract of David Attenborough narrating from a TV show about how cool stone axes are. And it's like. Yeah they are but I'd rather the limited space was taken up by some actual info rather than uninformed and uninteresting musings. It's just not my sort of book I guess. I was disappointed at the limited info on each object so far and feeling the author kept loudly telling me how cool each thing is rather than letting it speak for itself.

There was also quite a bit of factual stuff that I at least felt suspicious of. For example, dating the entrance of humans to North America basically exactly to the Clovis culture which was under criticism even at publication and is a few thousands year off for sure. Claiming that there was no migration into North America after that until European arrival, when it's well accepted that the Inuit are descended from another migration thousands of years afterwards and there may possibly have been others.

Idk just didn't feel confident reading further or feel it was a book aimed at me.
  tombomp | Oct 31, 2023 |
$218, A first edition, first printing published by Allen Lane in 2010. Strangely RARE!.A fine copy in a fine unclipped wrapper. Director of the British Museum, Neil MacGregor, narrates 100 programmes that retell humanity's history through the objects we have made.
  susangeib | Oct 29, 2023 |
This book came to my attention a few years ago when I discovered its spinoff, A History of America in 100 Objects, published by the Smithsonian. Although I added both to my list immediately, I didn't get around to reading this one until just now (glad I picked it up when I did as my library has only two copies left, and the one I hold in my hands is starting to fall apart). It's an amazing tome for lovers of history and the generally curious. I appreciated learning what it is that makes each object unique and how each is significant in world history. While I have never been to British Museum (someday!), it feels like the British Museum came, in a sense, to me. Wonderful. ( )
  ryner | Oct 14, 2023 |
Finished this last night. What a remarkable, lovely book. I can't recommend it highly enough. I feel as though it's a curator/archivist's love letter to the world. I learned quite a bit, and will definitely go back to it from time to time, but more importantly came away from it with a profound sense of the deep interconnectedness of people across space and time. ( )
  lschiff | Sep 24, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Neil MacGregorprimary authorall editionscalculated
BBC Radio 4Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bell, JasonPhotographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Comtesse, RahelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Götting, WaltraudTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Holonics, NicoNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kügow-Klenz, DetlefNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mena, Francisco J. RamosTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sykora, ConnyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sykora, JacintheTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wirthensohn, AndreasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zettel, AnnabelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zischler, HannsSprechersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To all my colleagues at the British Museum
First words
Telling history through things is what museums are for. (Preface: Mission Impossible)
In this book we travel back in time and across the globe, to see how we humans have shaped our world and been shaped by it over the past two million years. (Introduction)
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Traces the stories of one hundred human innovations to explain their pivotal role in shaping civilization, from weapons and the domestication of cows to currency and music.

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Traces the stories of one hundred human innovations to explain their pivotal role in shaping civilization, from weapons and the domestication of cows to currency and music.

pt. 1. Making us human: 2,000,000-9000 BC : Mummy of Hornedjitef ; Olduvai stone chopping tool ; Olduvai handaxe ; Swimming reindeer ; Clovis spear point --

pt. 2. After the Ice Age: food and sex: 9000-3500 BC : Bird-shaped pestle ; Ain Sakhri lovers figurine ; Egyptian clay model of cattle ; Maya maize god statue ; Jomon pot --

pt. 3. The first cities and states: 4000-2000 BC : King Den's sandal label ; Standard of Ur ; Indus seal ; Jade axe ; Early writing tablet --

pt. 4. The beginnings of science and literature: 2000-700 BC : Flood tablet ; Rhind mathematical papyrus ; Minoan bull-leaper ; Mold gold cape ; Statue of Ramesses II --

pt. 5. Old world, new powers: 1100-300 BC : Lachish reliefs ; Sphinx of Taharqo ; Chinese Zhou ritual vessel ; Paracas textile ; Gold coin of Croesus --

pt. 6. The world in the age of Confucius: 500-300 BC : Oxus chariot model ; Parthenon sculpture: Centaur and Lapith ; Basse-Yutz flagons ; Olmec stone mask ; Chinese bronze bell --

pt. 7. Empire builders: 300 BC-AD 10 : Coin with head of Alexander ; Pillar of Ashoka ; Rosetta stone ; Chinese Han lacquer cup ; Head of Augustus --

pt. 8. Ancient pleasures, modern spice: AD 1-500 : Warren cup ; North American otter pipe ; Ceremonial ballgame belt ; Admonitions scroll ; Hoxne pepper pot --

pt. 9. The rise of world faiths: AD 100-600 : Seated Buddha from Gandhara ; Gold coins of Kumaragupta I ; Plate showing Shapur II ; Hinton St. Mary mosaic ; Arabian bronze hand --

pt. 10. The silk road and beyond: AD 400-800 : Gold coins of Abd al-Malik ; Sutton Hoo helmet ; Moche warrior pot ; Korean roof tile ; Silk princess painting --

pt. 11. Inside the palace: secrets at court: AD 700-900 : Maya relief of royal blood-letting ; Harem wall-painting fragments ; Lothair crystal ; Statue of Tara ; Chinese Tang tomb figures --

pt. 12. Pilgrims, raiders and traders: AD 800-1300 : Vale of York hoard ; Hedwig beaker ; Japanese bronze mirror ; Borobudur Buddha head ; Kilwa pot sherds --

pt. 13. Status symbols: AD 1100-1500 : The Lewis chessmen ; Hebrew astrolabe ; Ife head ; The David vases ; Taino ritual seat --

pt. 14. Meeting the gods: AD 1200-1500 : Holy Thorn Reliquary ; Icon of the Triumph of Orthodoxy ; Shiva and Parvati sculpture ; Sculpture of Huastec goddess ; Hoa Hakananai'a Easter Island statue --

pt. 15. The threshold of the modern world: AD 1375-1550 : Tughra of Suleiman the Magnificent ; Ming banknote ; Inca gold llama ; Jake dragon cup ; Dürer's Rhinoceros --

pt. 16. The first global economy: AD 1450-1650 : Mechanical galleon ; Benin plaque: the Oba with Europeans ; Double-headed serpent ; Kakiemon elephants ; Pieces of eight --

pt. 17. Tolerance and intolerance: AD 1550-1700 : Shi'a religious parade standard ; Miniature of a Mughal prince ; Shadow puppet of Bima ; Mexican codex map ; Reformation centenary broadsheet --

pt. 18. Exploration, exploitation and enlightenment: AD 1680-1820 : Akan drum ; Hawaiian feather helmet ; North American buckskin map ; Australian bark shield ; Jade Bi --

pt. 19. Mass production, mass persuasion: AD 1780-1914 : Ship's chronometer from HMS Beagle ; Early Victorian tea set ; Hokusai's The Great Wave ; Sudanese slit drum ; Suffragette-defaced penny --

pt. 20. The world of our making: AD 1914-2010 : Russian revolutionary plate ; Hockney's In the Dull Village ; Throne of weapons ; Credit card ; Solar-powered lamp and charger.
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