Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyThe Shroud of Turin, George Washington's false teeth, King Tutankhamen's royal burial treasures, a three-billion-year-old Ethiopian king Hammurabi are among the artifacts and relics spotlighted in this entertaining and enlightening survey. Organized in rough chronological order, from the sacred Black Stone revered by Muslims in Mecca to Voyager 2's gold-plated phonograph record for extraterrestrials, the 50-plus objects make up a pageant of human aspiration, achievement, obsession and belief. Some of the artifacts are heartrending (the bed Lincoln died in, Anne Frank's diary); some are momentous (the Declaration of Independence, the Wright brothers' biplane); and others are nostalgic (London Bridge, Babe Ruth's 60th-home-run bat). And some are bizarre, like the Elephant Man or the fake, wood-carved gun that John Dillinger used to bluff his way out of an Indiana jail. Photos. (Feb.)
Library JournalRachlin (The Making of a Detective, LJ 11/1/95) has written a fascinating trivia book covering over 50 artifacts and objects in history. Each relatively short entry follows the same format-"Date," "What It Is," and "What It Looks Like." The prose is sprightly and often witty. Such topics as George Washington's False Teeth, the Shroud of Turin, and Napoleon's Penis are bound to pique readers' interest. The book is soundly researched; in the field of U.S. history, for example, only one minor chronological misplacement was found. Some selections will surely whet the appetite for additional reading. Books of this nature have been very popular in recent years, e.g., I Love Paul Revere, Whether He Rode or Not (HarperCollins, 1992). This title should prove no exception.-Stephen G. Weisner, Springfield Technical Community Coll., Mass.
Gilbert TaylorIn Rachlin's reliquary repose 50-plus objects, made famous through mysterious origins, like the Black Stone of the Kacbah in Mecca, or through being at the right place at the right time, like the Lee-Grant surrender tables. The bulk of the items have Judeo-Christian or American associations, which endows a devotional aura closely followed by an acquisitive one: the question of where the relic came from and who owned it--its provenance--is the engine of all Rachlin's stories. And as window-shopping history, they are breezily distracting, though no substitute for going into a bookstore (or library) and getting a fuller history, which Rachlin implicitly and fairly acknowledges by providing a bibliography related to each artifact. But first, any casual interest in the Shroud of Turin, the Bayeux Tapestry, the Declaration of Independence, or (gulp) Napoleon's member of reproduction needs to be excited, so to speak, and that goal Rachlin achieves in his summaries, with heads stating "What It Is," "What It Looks Like," and "Location." Obviously history-lite, but harmless fun
BooknewsA series of historical vignettes which illuminate the story connected with some 50 relics dating from antiquity to the present. The relics range from the Shroud of Turin and Anne Frank's diary to George Washington's false teeth and the dried remains of philosopher Jeremy Bentham. B&w photographs. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Lucy's Bones, Sacred Stones and Einstein's Brain based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Loved this book! The condensed versions of history was very enjoyable and informative.
I enjoy history and this title allows glimpses in to the history of interesting historical artifacts. It allows the reader to catch a glimpse of dozens of possible articles that could lead in to complete realms of study and reading for anyone. Also, set up in easy to follow format. Good read!