The History of the World / Edition 6

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J.M. Roberts's renowned History of the World is widely considered the finest available one-volume survey of the major events, developments, and personalities of the known past, offering generations of readers a tour of the vast landscape of human history.

In this new edition, Bancroft Prize-winning historian Odd Arne Westad has completely revised this landmark work to bring the narrative up to the twenty-first century, including the 9/11 attacks and the wars in the Middle East. Westad utilizes the remarkable gains in scholarship in recent decades to enhance the book's coverage of early human life and vastly improve the treatment of India and China, Central Eurasia, early Islam, and the late Byzantine Empire, as well as the history of science, technology, and economics. The result is a truly remarkable work of compression and synthesis, sweeping through thousands of years of history, weaving the stories of empires, art, religion, economics, and science into a lucid and engaging narrative. Ranging from the early hominids and the emergence of Mesopotamian civilizations and ancient Egypt, the book illuminates such topics as the Roman Empire, the explosive arrival of Islam, the rise and fall of samurai rule in Japan, the medieval kingdoms of sub-Saharan Africa, the Mongol conquests, and the early modern expansion of Europe across the globe; also covered are the struggle for American independence, the French Revolution, the colonial empires, Japan's startling modernization, and the World Wars.

With over 90 informative maps, The History of the World remains the finest, most readable survey in print.

From the evolution of Homo Sapiens to the exploration of space, the vast landscape of human history appears in this authoritative, readable book. Evocatively illustrated, this work offers an outstanding one-volume survey of the major events, developments, and personalities of the known past. Illus. Maps.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Acclaim for earlier editions

"A stupendous achievement...the unrivalled world history of our day." —A.J.P. Taylor, The Observer

"Intelligently organized, insightful, and balanced...a fine addition to any library." —The Christian Science Monitor

"It is greatly to John Roberts's credit that after a generation on the Oxford tutorial treadmill he can write so lively and so continuously interesting a book."—The Economist

"Roberts writes well, with style and verve and wit."—Library Journal

"It is always something of an amazement that anyone would be courageous enough to attempt such a work—and in fewer than 1,000 pages—but Roberts clearly succeeds with a steady, clear-headed style that carries the reader along through the centuries."—Chicago Tribune

"Epic yet readable, perfect for those who find History of the Universe too daunting to crack."—The Philadelphia Inquirer

School Library Journal
YA-This scholarly resource has much to offer researchers. Roberts begins with a discussion of the prehuman past and continues up until mid-1990. The text is divided into eight ``books,'' each of which is organized around a central focus and begins with a brief overview. These books are then subdivided into shorter chapters. ``The First Civilizations'' covers several centers of complex, early urban civilization-including Mesopotamia, Egypt, India, and China-and discusses areas, such as sub-Saharan Africa, which (for reasons the author explains) did not develop in the same way. He relates how factors such as climate and location affected the development of some cultures. ``The Age of Diverging Traditions'' investigates medieval European civilization as well as others that thrived at roughly the same time-the Islamic world, Imperial China, India, and Byzantium. Perhaps the biggest challenge the author confronts is ``The Latest Age,'' which offers insightful commentary on recent events. A chapter detailing the early steps that resulted in the dissolution of the Soviet Union is followed by an epilogue discussing current trends and dangers facing civilization in the future. Numerous black-and-white illustrations, some full-color plates, well-drawn maps, and an extensive index are included.-Carolyn E. Gecan, Thomas Jefferson Sci-Tech, Fairfax County, VA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199936762
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 5/9/2013
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 6
  • Pages: 1280
  • Sales rank: 174,894
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 2.20 (d)

Meet the Author

J. M. Roberts CBE died in 2003. He was Warden at Merton College, Oxford University, until his retirement and is widely considered one of the leading historians of his era. He is also renowned as the author and presenter of the BBC TV series The Triumph of the West (1985).

Odd Arne Westad is Professor of International History at the London School of Economics. He has published fifteen books on modern and contemporary international history, among them The Global Cold War, which won the Bancroft Prize, and Decisive Encounters, a standard history of the Chinese civil war. He is general editor of the forthcoming three-volume Cambridge History of the Cold War.

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Table of Contents

1 The Foundations
2 Homo Sapiens
3 The Possibility of Civilization

1 Early Civilized Life
2 Ancient Mesopotamia
3 Ancient Egypt
4 Intruders and Invaders
5 The Beginnings of Civilization in South Asia
6 Ancient China
7 The Other Worlds of the Ancient Past
8 Transformations

1 Remaking the Old World
2 The Greeks
3 The Hellenistic World
4 Rome
5 Christianity and Western Transition
6 Classical India
7 Classical China

1 The Central Eurasian Crossroads
2 Islam and the Arab Empires
3 Byzantium and Its Sphere
4 The New Near East and the Making of Europe
5 India
6 Imperial China
7 Japan
8 Worlds Apart
9 Europe: The Possibility of Change
10 New Limits, New Horizons

1 Qing China and Mughal India
2 A New Kind of Society: Early Modern Europe
3 Authority and Its Challengers in Europe
4 The New World of Great Powers
5 Europe's Assault on the World
6 World History's New Shape
7 Ideas Old and New

1 Long-term Change
2 Political Change in an Age of Revolution
3 Political Change: A New Europe
4 Political Change: The Anglo-Saxon World
5 The European World Hegemony
6 Imperialism and Imperial Rule
7 Asian Metamorphoses

1 Strains in the System
2 The Era of the First World War
3 The Making of a New Asia
4 The Ottoman Heritage and the Western Islamic Lands
5 The Second World War
6 Decolonisation and Cold War

1 Revolutions in Science and Perceptions
2 The Cold War World
3 Crises and Détente
4 The Closing of an Era
5 Openings and Closures
6 Whole World History

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