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The Smithsonian's History of America in 101 Objects

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  • Posted February 3, 2014

    Kurin uses 101 artifacts from the Smithsonian's collections to v

    Kurin uses 101 artifacts from the Smithsonian's collections to vividly illustrate American culture.  Each article is about an artifact--but it's about so much more than that. He carefully wends together inventions like the airplane and the light bulb with Abe Lincoln's hat, Ben Franklin's staff, and even the Stars & Strips of Fort McHenry in a tapestry of enlightened story-telling.

    Along with information about each artifact, Kurin describes the process by which it came to reside in the nation's museum. Artifacts from a wide range of museums--including the Museum of African-American History and the Native American Museum are represented.

    In my English 11 classes, I used an obscure article about King Kamehameha's feathered cape in a unit with my students, and the quality of research and the quality of writing held up to a very in-depth study.

    Kurin closes the book with a reflection on artifacts that he didn't get to fit into his top 101. He comes across as a thorough researcher and devoted curator for my country's treasures. 

    As an American I feel grateful to have people like Kurin in charge of my country's historic artifacts. As a reader, I am grateful for this intelligent, inspiring book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2013

    Great compilation of american history greats

    I love history and love this book. It is so varied covering so many topics and thousands of years of history. Each object story also contains detailed color photos, helping really bring the item to light.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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