- Hardcover: 736 pages
- Publisher: Allen Lane; 01 edition (6 Oct. 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1846145112
- ISBN-13: 978-1846145117
- Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 4.8 x 20.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (336 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 89,749 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
A History of the World in 100 Objects Hardcover – 6 Oct 2011
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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 )
The landmark BBC Radio 4 series that tells the story of humanity through 100 man-made objects from the British Museum's unique collection. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product description
Top Customer Reviews
An essential book of reference.
The podcasts are still available, together with images of the objects themselves on the BBC website. Hopefully they will remain accessible for a very long time.
So why do I need this book? Firstly, I certainly find it easier to take in detail by reading, rather than just hearing. The original Radio shows painted a general impression of the objects, the book gives you a chance to read about them or study them in a far more leisured way, and gives small pictures of each object by each written exploration. I often listened to the radio shows and wished I could see a picture.
This leads on to the second reason for the book, despite having easy access to the internet (even on my phone). It is not always there, maybe I'm out of coverage or on holiday. So it is not always easy to see the images from the internet. Neither do I always have access to podcasts or the radio.
Thirdly it is so much easier to share, which leads on to my last reason, serendipity. Today my teenage daughter just picked up the book, dipped in and found something of interest, she probably wouldn't have bothered to go to the website, but books are so easy just to dip into.
I would highly recommend this as a book to dip into, and find out something new. To leave lying around for others to encounter; and most crucially for us all to learn about the richness of human history from all around the world, recorded in our objects.
The only thing to do next is maybe visit the British Museum to see the objects themselves.
Inevitably, the quality of the b/w images for each item is not going to be as high as in the hardback version - but there are still a number of colour plates which do their job well. For better quality images, it is worth checking out the BBC/BritishMuseum website for images and the original programmes (with their great music by Steven Faux).
But the greatest value in having this book is Neil McGregor's prose. It is informative, witty and full of insight. It is a perfect book to dip into in idle moments, or to work systematically through. But however it is read, it is nothing less than a pure joy and delight.
There is no doubt that this is going to be a succesful book and any popularity granted to such an erudite work is to be welcomed but I have to say that some of the writing appears a bit dry and, well the only word I can think of is, worthy. Without the narration of the various experts on the radio series I think the life goes out of some of these stories.
That is a minor quibble though and will prove a matter of taste but otherwise this is still a fine book and destined to become a "classic", especially if the BBC have their way. If you only had one history book to choose this Christmas, I'd go for Map of a Nation: A Biography of the Ordnance Survey but why not splash out and get this one as well, especially at the bargain Amazon price.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Ordered as description said First Impression. When it arrived, it was clear that only was this particular book a Fourth Impression, but it had writing in thick, black pen on the... Read morePublished 1 month ago by David H. Headley
I listened to the Radio4 series on player and looked at the pictures as they were described. Read more
I was just a bit reticent about downloading this book. I was not familiar with the radio series and my preference has always been for narrative/chronological history - an unfolding... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Tariki
Originally this book started out as a project for BBC Radio 4; with four years in the planning, and a host of experts to help him, Neil MacGregor has created a really special... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Canan Nuri