Monday, December 31, 2012

History of the World in 100 Objetcs

A History of the World in 100 Objects

This last book review of 2012 is of “History of the World in 100 Objects” by Neil MacGregor. It is 707 pages long with maps and notes at the end. It is published by Allen Lane. The cover is a pretty blue with just the title and author on it. The intended reader is someone who wants to learn about mankind, children may not understand everything in the book and there is one old statue in it that is a little risky but anyone over the age of 12 should be fine. It is told in an odd person first but still have third person voice because MacGregor will talk to the reader about the objects and what they make him feel but most of the book is about the objects. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the dust jacket- 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.

Review- This book is wonderful. The writing is strong, the objects are chosen with great care and the stories they tell are just so interesting. The objects examined range from the easiest statue of a couple with sex to a solar powered lamp. MacGregor does not stay in the western world; when he says a history of the world we go around the world. He talks about how frustrating it is to have objects but because of time and death that now we can only guess what the story of the object really is. Each object has multiple full color photos with great detail. MacGregor loves his work and it shows in the book. The history is great but MacGregor does not overwhelm the reader with all the details. MacGregor helps the reader to see the object and ever to see where it fits into the grand scope of humankind. If you only read one non-fiction book this coming year make it this one.

I give this one Five out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I borrowed this book from my local library.