Kurin’s Latest Tells America’s Story Through Smithsonian Objects

"The Smithsonian’s History of America in 101 Objects," by Richard Kurin

"The Smithsonian’s History of America in 101 Objects," by Richard Kurin

October 29, 2013

Richard Kurin’s latest book tells America’s story with objects from the Smithsonian, including Martha, the last passenger pigeon; a fragment of Plymouth Rock; and Julia Childs’ kitchen. The Under Secretary for History, Art and Culture enlisted curators and scholars to help him with the research for The Smithsonian’s History of America in 101 Objects. Selecting 101 objects from among millions was a challenge, but the effort paid off, according to Kurin. The objects convey the story of the nation and inspire learning in a tangible and sometimes dramatic way, he says. Published by Penguin Press and widely available, the 762-page book has received strong reviews. Kurin’s previous books include Hope Diamond: The Legendary History of a Cursed Gem, the story of the centerpiece of the National Gem Collection.

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