Take Ten: History Through Material Objects

As we review items to add to the Library’s collection, we often see cycles of similarities – the same sort of beach scene on the cover, or a mass influx of cat mysteries, or even titles that mimic each other. One trend we’ve seen lately is history being told through different objects. Some of these are on a large scale – like world history – while others take on more specific events or ideas. Regardless, it’s fun to see what objects are chosen, what they represent, and how they’ve had an impact.


The Civil War in 50 Objects – Harold Holzer and the New York Historical Society

  • Offers a visual perspective on the Civil War as reflected by artifacts ranging from a soldier’s footlocker and the Emancipation Proclamation to leaves from Abraham Lincoln’s bier and Grant’s handwritten terms of surrender at Appomattox.

The Death of the Hat: A Brief History of Poetry in 50 Objects – Paul B. Janeczko and Chris Raschka

  • A collection of poems through history inspired by objects–earthly and celestial–reflecting the time in which each poet lived.

A History of America in 101 Objects – Richard Kurin

  • 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.*

A History of America in Thirty-Six Postage Stamps – Chris West

  • From George Washington’s dour gaze to the charging buffalo of the western frontier and Lindbergh’s soaring biplane, American stamps are a vivid window into our country’s extraordinary and distinctive past.

A History of Baseball in 100 Objects – Josh Leventhal

  • A visual and historical record of the game as told through essential documents, letters, photographs, equipment, memorabilia, food and drink, merchandise and media items, and relics of popular culture, each of which represents the history and evolution of the game.*

A History of the Church in 100 Objects – Mike Aquilina and Grace Aquilina

  • In this unique and eye-catching book, popular Catholic author and EWTN host Mike Aquilina tells the Christian story through the examination of 100 objects and places.

A History of the World in 6 Glasses – Tom Standage

  • An offbeat history of the world traces the story of humankind from the Stone Age to the twenty-first century from the perspective of six different drinks–beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea, and cola–describing their pervasive influence during pivotal eras of world history, from humankind’s adoption of agriculture to the advent of globalization.

A History of the World in 12 Maps – Jerry Brotton

  • Brotton examines twelve world maps from global history from the mystical representations of ancient civilizations and the fourteenth-century Mappamundi to the satellite-derived imagery of today to show how, by reading them, we can better understand the worlds that produced them.

A History of the World in 100 Objects – Neil MacGregor

  • Neil MacGregor’s radio series ‘A History of the World in 100 Objects’ has been a unique event that has set a benchmark for public service broadcasting in the UK and across the world. This book is the tie-in to that event, reproducing the scripts describing the objects that made us who we are.

And – even though it’s not through physical objects, we added this one in the mix:

A History of the United States in Five Crashes – Scott Nations

  • A financial executive and CNBC contributor examines the five most significant stock market crashes over the past century to reveal how they happened and shaped the present-day United States.


Annotations courtesy of NoveList Plus; except for those denoted (*), which come from the publishers.

Log in to NoveList Plus for more great book info for all ages with your TFPL card.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: