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The Smithsonian's History Of America In 101 Objects

The Smithsonian Institution is America's largest, most important, and most beloved repository for the objects that define our common heritage. Now Under Secretary for Art, History, and Culture Richard Kurin, aided by a team of top Smithsonian curators and scholars, has assembled a literary exhibition of 101 objects from across the Smithsonian's museums that together offer a marvelous new perspective on the history of the United States.Ranging from the earliest years of the pre-Columbian continent to the digital age, and from the American Revolution to Vietnam, each entry pairs the fascinating history surrounding each object with the story of its creation or discovery and the place it has come to occupy in our national memory. Kurin sheds remarkable new light on objects we think we know well, from Lincoln's hat to Dorothy's ruby slippers and Julia Child's kitchen, including the often astonishing tales of how each made its way into the collections of the Smithsonian. Other objects will be eye-opening new discoveries for many, but no less evocative of the most poignant and important moments of the American experience. Some objects, such as Harriet Tubman's hymnal, Sitting Bull's ledger, Cesar Chavez's union jacket, and the Enola Gay bomber, tell difficult stories from the nation's history, and inspire controversies when exhibited at the Smithsonian. Others, from George Washington's sword to the space shuttle Discovery, celebrate the richness and vitality of the American spirit. In Kurin's hands, each object comes to vivid life, providing a tactile connection to American history.Beautifully designed and illustrated with color photographs throughout, The Smithsonian's History of America in 101 Objects is a rich and fascinating journey through America's collective memory, and a beautiful object in its own right.

Hardcover: 784 pages

Publisher: Penguin Press; 1st edition (October 29, 2013)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1594205299

ISBN-13: 978-1594205293

Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 1.8 x 9.4 inches

Shipping Weight: 4.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)

Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #14,888 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #3 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Antiques & Collectibles > Americana #14 in Books > Arts & Photography > History & Criticism > Criticism #147 in Books > Humor & Entertainment > Pop Culture

Kurin has written a very interesting series of articles about these 101 objects and how they relate to the history of America. It's a brilliant and engaging analysis, well worth the cost and the strength to hold it in your lap.

Don't bother buying the Deluxe version. The videos won't tell you any additional information one couldn't get from reading the corresponding chapters. Other than that, I am enjoying the topics.

An excellent book: One of the best put out by The Smithsonian. Anyone, with an interest in American history, will find readingthis book a real treat.

I am about halfway through the book and am enjoying it very much. However, it is not just the history. I realize that it gives an emerging description of the American Character like no other book I have ever read. You can gaze at each object in detail, consider the respective narrative, and what comes through is a value base--i.e., what is held dearly-- which is distinctly American. I think this is shaped not only by what is gained ("manifest destiny") but by what is lost (the passenger pigeon and near-extinction of the buffalo).

What is not to love about anything Smithsonian? It is a coffee table book. Contents remind me of my many fond visits to the Smithsonian and Washington DC. Great glossy photos... Nice descriptions of artifacts.

I bought three copies of this book as Christmas gifts. I thought the premise was interesting and challenging--to portray the whole history of America in 101 objects. Maybe some events were dealt with rather superficially, but I had to keep in mind the goal and the limitations of utilizing only objects in the Smithsonian. All in all a good reminder of where we've been as a country.

This book will spark the interest of just about anybody. There are so many articles displayed in this book including the history behind the articles that it will occupy much of your time and reading enjoyment.Its a book you can place on a table top, and read at your pleasure or skip through and find a certain object in no particular order. I've had this book for about a week now and I've read just read about 2 objects. I've put the book aside for now, and the next day I want to sit and relax and learn a little something more about our history I will pick this book up and continue my read. I look forward to that very much.I will note that the photographs are very well presented, as also the text. Job well done Mr Kurin!

Saw the book in a magazine and it was $25.00 more there. I received the book in a timely manner, and while it was listed as in "good" condition, I would instead grade it as "like new/excellent." A great buy for the price. A lot there (about 800 pages) and am planning to hold on to it for 4 months and have one of my kids give it to me for father's day - so can't give it a 5 Star until I read it.

The Smithsonian's History of America in 101 Objects Smithsonian Handbooks: Insects (Smithsonian Handbooks) Giants on Record: America's Hidden History, Secrets in the Mounds and the Smithsonian Files Souvenir Nation: Relics, Keepsakes, and Curios from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History The Origins of Satellite Communications, 1945-1965 (Smithsonian History of Aviation and Spaceflight Series) TALES OF WAR PILOT (Smithsonian History of Aviation and Spaceflight) The Napoleonic Wars (Smithsonian History of Warfare) History: Human History in 50 Events: From Ancient Civilizations to Modern Times (World History, History Books, People History) (History in 50 Events Series Book 1) History: British History in 50 Events: From First Immigration to Modern Empire (English History, History Books, British History Textbook) (History in 50 Events Series Book 11) Nomenclature 4.0 for Museum Cataloging: Robert G. Chenhall's System for Classifying Cultural Objects (American Association for State and Local History) History Of The World In 100 Objects,A American History: The People & Events that Changed American History (People's History, American, United States of America, American Revolution, Patriot, United States History Book 1) Smithsonian Civil War: Inside the National Collection Smithsonian Baseball: Inside the World's Finest Private Collections Every Stamp Tells a Story: The National Philatelic Collection (Smithsonian Contribution to Knowledge) A Guide to Smithsonian Gardens Landscape Wallcoverings (Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution) The Nation's Hangar: Aircraft Treasures of the Smithsonian A PEOPLE WHO WOULD NOT KNEEL: Panama, the United States, and the San Blas Kuna (Smithsonian Series in Ethnographic Inquiry) CONDITIONS NOT OF THEIR CHOOSING (Smithsonian Series in Ethnographic Inquiry)