Take a journey through America’s collective memory—from ancient fossils to the digital age—with this encyclopedic chronicle. The Smithsonian Institution is America's largest, most important, and most beloved repository for the objects that define our common heritage. Under Secretary for Art, History, and Culture Richard Kurin (the Smithsonian’s first Distinguished Scholar and Ambassador at Large), aided by a team of top Smithsonian curators and scholars, has assembled in this paperback, The Smithsonian’s History of America in 101 Objects, a literary exhibition of 101 objects from across the Smithsonian's museums that together offer a marvelous perspective on the history of the United States.
The Smithsonian's National Museum of American History is responsible for the collection, care and preservation of more than three million objects. The collections reflect the breadth, depth and complexity of the experiences of the American people, from social and cultural history to the history of science, medicine and technology.
Ranging from the earliest years of the pre-Columbian continent to the digital age, and from the American Revolution to Vietnam, each entry in The Smithsonian’s History of America in 101 Objects 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. Richard Kurin sheds remarkable 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 discoveries for many, but no less evocative of the most poignant and important moments of the American experience. Some objects in The Smithsonian’s History of America in 101 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. Paperback; 784 pages, 252 illustrations; 1.7"h. x 8.8"l. x 6.9"w.