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on 25 March 2017
Excellent, very informative and accessible. Found it a great companion on visits to the British Museum, bringing the chosen exhibits to life in terms of detail and context.
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on 2 March 2017
Excellent research on techniques as well as historical background.

An essential book of reference.
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on 11 March 2017
Neil macgregor should never have been allowed to leave the museum or England.
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on 13 March 2017
Better than expected! Delightful!
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VINE VOICEon 27 September 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I loved the Radio programme when it was first aired, although I didn't hear every episode. I am sure like a lot of people I would delay leaving the car, just to listen to the daily edition.
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.
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VINE VOICEon 26 September 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Neil McGregor's original radio series (from which this book derives) must have been a tough pitch: a 100-part documentary series about *objects* that the audience won't be able to see. Doesn't sound that promising! And yet it was a fantastic achievement. But it was crying out for a book. Of course, hardback was the obvious medium for such a treasure trove - but having it in paperback now makes it much more useful for any wanting to make good use of the British Museum itself (for the initial parameter of the concept was that everything had to be in the archives or on display).

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.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 24 October 2010
If I had to choose only one medium in which to explore these 100 objects then I'd choose the radio series over this book - all 100 podcasts are still available for free at the time of writing - this may not last. They are superb! Of course we are now in the fortunate position of having access to those and this beautifully produced book as well and it certainly compliments the series. Some criticisms have been raised that the book has pictures of the 100 objects, on the basis that radio listeners preferred to imagine what they look like, but as they have always been available on the BBC website if you cared to look, I think this is a positive addition and they definitely add to the overall experience of this book.

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.
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on 20 August 2015
Book exactly as described. Quick delivery. No problems
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I`ve had this book for some time and have enjoyed reading a few chapters - or an entire section - as it suited me; this is an eminently readable volume that can be dipped into at random or read in its ordered chapters, which is the way I`ve chosen to go.

It is, of course, the book of the radio series - which I missed - but I appreciate having both the illustration of each object and the handiness of the book format. I don`t feel that it has lost anything in the transition; I did hear a few episodes and I have MacGregor`s Shakespeare series, so I hear his voice in my head as I read. His descriptions remain as vivid as the broadcasts and reveal so much more about each object than can be portrayed in it`s flat, thumb-nail image. Above all, virtually every brief chapter spins the reader off into a broader understanding of not just our history, but of how humanity, society, our creativity and our relationship with the world around us has worked and developed across the millennia; it is a wonderful little insight into ourselves, entertaining, informative and thought provoking.

A fine volume, a painless way to absorb history and perhaps an object lesson in how the subject should be taught. Highly recommended.
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on 3 April 2011
"A History of the World in 100 Objects" began with a BBC Radio 4 program that described 100 striking objects housed in the British Museum in London. I encountered the "100 Objects" while visiting the museum in the summer of 2010, and I was delighted to learn several months later that the original radio scripts were being adapted into a book.

The result, as author Neil MacGregor reminds us, is simply "a" history of the world rather than "the" history. Each chapter tells the story of a unique object or set of objects, ranging from a hand axe and chopping tools that are more than a million years old through the modern credit card and a solar-powered lamp and charger. Some of the objects are famous, some are obscure, but each inspires its own intriguing story. Chapter by brief chapter, the book carefully and clearly describes each object, places it in its historical context, and explains what it meant (or may have meant) to the people who created, used or admired it.

The UK edition of the book is quite elegant--nearly 700 pages of high-quality paper with numerous striking color photographs showing each object from multiple vantage points. It makes a fine gift for friends and family who appreciate art, or history, or both, and it deserves pride of place on any bookshelf.

As an aside, for those interested in the original BBC Channel 4 Radio program that inspired the book, you can download each of the 100 original broadcasts on iTunes. They make a marvelous companion to the book.
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