The World Store

Collective work edited by Pierre Singaravélou and Sylvain Venayre. Fayard, 464 p., 25 €

So where does the shampoo come from? Turkey. Its use did not develop in Europe until the last quarter of the 19th century.e century, under the impetus of a former soldier of the Bengal army installed in Brighton, in England, in 1814. And where does the thong, the shoe of the poor become the prerogative of golden youth come from? Of the zori Japanese, made of rice straw and rush, whose Brazilian avatar now floods the whole world. As for the tire, retracing its history is telling that of colonization and aggressive exploitation of natural resources. To bend over the chalk stick is to evoke his inseparable friend, the blackboard, both associated with mass literacy. The tin can was born in London in 1810, and indirectly led to the creation of cities like Kuala Lumpur …

An object, a chapter, a historian: the reader, like the barge, can peck at will on the shelves of the World store, the collective book edited by the two historians Sylvain Venayre and Pierre Singaravélou. The stories of a hundred everyday objects are thus retraced by as many specialists. Erudite and pleasant, the work nonetheless has one great ambition: to retrace through familiar things a global history of the world, including all points of view and all continents. ” Since the end of the 18th centurye century, their mass production has made them the lowest common denominators of the men and women who inhabit the planet », Write in the introduction Sylvain Venayre and Pierre Singaravélou. Or how, ” by an apparent paradox, objects are actually the best way, on a world scale, to apprehend humans “.


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