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.
One of the central facts of human existence is that every society shares a set of beliefs and assumptions – a faith, an ideology, a religion – that goes far beyond the life of the individual. These beliefs are an essential part of a shared identity. They have a unique power to define – and to divide – us, and are a driving force in the politics of much of the world today. Throughout history they have most often been, in the widest sense, religious.,Yet this book is not a history of religion, nor an argument in favour of faith. It is about the stories which give shape to our lives, and the different ways in which societies imagine their place in the world. Looking across history and around the globe, it interrogates objects, places and human activities to try to understand what shared beliefs can mean in the public life of a community or a nation, how they shape the relationship between the individual and the state, and how they help give us our sense of who we are.,For in deciding how we live with our gods, we also decide how to live with each other.