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I object (British Museum)

Ian Hislop's search for dissent

Ian Hislop, Tom Hockenhull

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A visual history of dissent, told through objects that challenge authority, published to accompany an exhibition at the British Museum co-curated by the satirist Ian Hislop

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Challenging authority is an essential ingredient in the development of human civilization. Across millennia, it has acted as a driving force behind social and political change. It might even be regarded as a basic human impulse, the evidence for which exists in various forms, not least in a number of surprising physical objects.

In this book and accompanying exhibition at the British Museum, Ian Hislop, the well-known satirist and editor of Private Eye, has gathered together some 180 objects that people have created, adapted and used to mock and attack the status quo in societies as varied as Egypt in the 11th century BC, 16th-century England and 20th-century Afghanistan. These articles – ranging from badges, posters, prints and ceramics to items that contain messages hidden from first view, such as a set of wooden doors from Nigeria, a lacquer box from Burma and teapots from China – frequently illuminate lost or forgotten moments in history, giving voice to those who have felt disenfranchised or had no other way to express their views safely.

Fully illustrated with texts that set the objects in context, I object is a celebration of the wit and ingenuity of those who have questioned the status quo, showing that the human spirit of rebellion is indomitable.

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'This handsome book stands up on its own as a good read about the history of dissent through the ages … unmissable'
Daily Mail

Product Information

Book Details

Format: Hardback

Size: 24.0 x 17.0 cm

Extent: 224 pp

Illustrations: 201

Publication date: 6 September 2018

ISBN: 9780500480410

Contents List

1. Sponsor’s Foreword 2. Director’s Foreword 3. Preface by Ian Hislop 4. Introduction 5. GETTING AWAY WITH IT 6. HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT 7. THE ART OF DISSENT 8. Conclusion 9. Notes 10. Further Reading 11. List of Illustrations 12. Acknowledgments 13. Index

About the Author

Ian Hislop is editor of Private Eye and a well-known broadcaster and writer.

Tom Hockenhull is Curator of Modern Money in the Department of Coins and Medals at the British Museum.

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