Joan's Reviews > A History of the World in 100 Objects

A History of the World in 100 Objects by Neil MacGregor
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's review
Aug 08, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: adult-books, history, 2012-favorites, nonfiction
Recommended for: historian fans
Read from August 08 to 27, 2012

This book took me forever to read, that is after I had reserved it for the second time, but it is easy to read in small chunks. Each chapter devoted one of the one hundred objects was only around 4 or 5 pages. It ranged all over the world. MacGregor points out at the end that they could have chosen 100 different objects and taken different paths through history. Some of the objects were truly beautiful. Others had beauty that was pretty well hidden at first sight, such as the throne of weapons. I'd say the Jade Dragon cup and the Mexican double headed serpent were my two favorite objects to look at. All were fascinating for one reason or another. I can't say there was a single object there that bored me. Although if I hadn't the guidance of such an educated "tour guide", I would have walked right by a number of these in a museum without recognizing the significance. I think the author went out of his way to not include the obvious, although he does have the Rosetta Sone and figurines from the Parthenon. But how can you leave those out? He has a sphinx, but it is a sphinx of Taharqo and not an Egyptian sphinx at all. I don't know how you do a sequel to such an intensive book, but I must say I wish he'd think of one! I loved this and would recommend it to virtually anyone. It is great for reluctant readers: lots of photos and short chapters. It is great for knowledgable readers who will have heard of many of these objects but I guarantee almost none of the readers will have heard or read or seen all of these objects. So don't let the size intimidate you and give it a try if you have any interest in history!

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08/11/2012 page 155
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