Sigrid Ellis'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
Jan 03, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: history-world
Read in January, 2012

I haven't updated Goodreads in long enough that I was avoiding the site, feeling guilty for not updating.

Then I realized this is an asinine attitude to have towards a website, and logged in to tell y'all about A History of the World in 100 Objects.

This book is a delight. It's human history in easy-to-read, easy-to-comprehend, clean and discrete packages. It's exactly what the label says; 100 objects from the British Museum, selected to represent all of human history, arranged chronologically, with five-eight pages of accompanying explanatory text.

The text is lively and engaging, the objects are really cool and there are pictures, and the author has made a serious effort to cover the *world* of human history. The part that keeps giving me chills is the descriptions of the Indian Ocean as a vast trade network, surpassing the Mediterranean sea for importance. There is just *so much* I don't know, and this book starts to fill in the gaps.

As in any true discussion of world history, Europe looks dingy and shabby through most of it, until the end bits. (End bits == after 1000 A.D.)

This is an easy read. If you want some sort of overview of the history of human endeavor and do not want to be crushed under weighty tomes, this is an excellent place to start.

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