Neil MacGregor's A History of the World in 100 Objects takes a bold, original approach to human history, exploring past civilizations through the objects that defined them.
Encompassing a grand sweep of human history, A History of the World in 100 Objects begins with one of the earliest surviving objects made by human hands, a chopping tool from the Olduvai gorge in Africa, and ends with objects which characterise the world we live in today.
Seen through MacGregor's eyes, history is a kaleidoscope - shifting, interconnected, constantly surprising, and shaping our world today in ways that most of us have never imagined. A stone pillar tells us about a great Indian emperor preaching tolerance to his people; Spanish pieces of eight tell us about the beginning of a global currency; and an early Victorian tea-set speaks to us about the impact of empire.
An intellectual and visual feast, this is one of the most engrossing and unusual history books published in years.
'Brilliant, engagingly written, deeply researched' Mary Beard, Guardian
'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' Sunday Telegraph
'Highly intelligent, delightfully written and utterly absorbing ' Timothy Clifford, Spectator
'This is a story book, vivid and witty, shining with insights, connections, shocks and delights' Gillian Reynolds Daily Telegraph
Neil MacGregor was Director of the National Gallery, London from 1987 to 2002 and of the British Museum from 2002 to 2015. His previous books include A History of the World in 100 Objects, Shakespeare's Restless World and Germany: Memories of a Nation, all available in Penguin and now between them translated into more than a dozen languages. For his work on the BBC Radio 4 series, British Museum exhibition and book Germany: Memories of a Nation, he was awarded (in Germany) the Friedrich Gundolf Prize, the Goethe Medal and the German National Prize and (in the UK) the British Academy's Nayef Al-Radhan Prize for Transcultural Understanding. In 2010, he was made a member of the Order of Merit, the UK's highest civil honour. He is now Chair of the Steering Committee of the Humboldt Forum in Berlin.