Ways of the World: A Brief Global History, Volume 2 / Edition 2

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A book that helps students see the big picture

Ways of the World has quickly become one of the most widely adopted new world history textbooks and offers a genuine alternative for your world history survey. Designed as a brief text, Ways of the World focuses on the big picture of significant historical trends, themes, and developments. Author Robert W. Strayer, a pioneer in the world history movement with years of classroom experience, provides a thoughtful and insightful synthesis. The brief narrative allows you to supplement with your own readings and course materials and provides an affordable option for your students. The second edition rolls out Bedford/St. Martin's new digital history tools, including LearningCurve, an adaptive quizzing engine that garners over a 90% student satisfaction rate, and LaunchPad, the all new interactive e-book and course space that puts high quality easy-to-use assessment at your fingertips. Easy to integrate into your campus LMS, and featuring video, additional primary sources, a wealth of adaptive and summative quizzing, and more, LaunchPad cements student understanding of the text while helping them make progress toward learning outcomes.  It's the best content joined up with the best technology. Available in combined and split volumes and in a variety of electronic formats. Also available in a docutext edition with sources.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312487058
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's
  • Publication date: 10/26/2012
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 512
  • Sales rank: 123,049
  • Product dimensions: 7.46 (w) x 9.07 (h) x 0.72 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert W. Strayer (PhD, University of Wisconsin) taught African, Soviet, and world history for many years at SUNY College at Brockport, where he received Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence in Teaching and for Excellence in Scholarship. In 1998 he was visiting professor of world and Soviet history at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. Since 2002, he has taught world history at the University of California, Santa Cruz; California State University, Monterey Bay; and Cabrillo College. His scholarship includes work in African history (Kenya: Focus on Nationalism, 1975; The Making of Mission Communities in East Africa, 1978); Soviet history (Why Did the Soviet Union Collapse?,1998;  The Communist Experiment, 2007) and World History (The Making of the Modern World, 1988, 1995; Ways of the World, 2009, 2011). He is a long-time member of the World History Association and served on its Executive Committee.

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Table of Contents


Versions and Supplements 


Special Features

Prologue: The Three Cs of World History: Change, Comparison, and Connection

Context in World History: Change

Context in World History: Comparison

Context in World History: Connection

12 The Worlds of the Fifteenth Century

The Shapes of Human Communities

     Paleolithic Persistence: Australia and North America

     Agricultural Village Societies: The Igbo and the Iroquois

     Herding Peoples: Central Asia and West Africa

Civilizations of the Fifteenth Century: Comparing China and Europe

     Ming Dynasty China

     European Comparisons: State Building and Cultural Renewal

     European Comparisons: Maritime Voyaging

Civilizations of the Fifteenth Century: The Islamic World

     In the Islamic Heartland: The Ottoman and Safavid Empires

     On the Frontiers of Islam: The Songhay and Mughal Empires

Civilizations of the Fifteenth Century: The Americas

     The Aztec Empire

     The Inca Empire

Webs of Connection

A Preview of Coming Attractions: Looking Ahead to the Modern Era, 1500–2012

Reflections: What If? Chance and Contingency in World History

Second Thoughts

     What’s the Significance?

     Big Picture Questions

     Next Steps: For Further Study


Snapshot: Major Developments around the World in the Fifteenth Century

Snapshot: World Population Growth, 1000–2000

*Portrait: Zheng He, China's Non-Chinese Admiral

Part Four: The Early Modern World, 1450–1750

The Big Picture

Debating the Character of an Era

    An Early Modern Era?

     A Late Agrarian Era?

*Mapping Part Four

13 Political Transformations: Empires and Encounters, 1450–1750

European Empires in the Americas

     The European Advantage

     The Great Dying

     The Columbian Exchange

Comparing Colonial Societies in the Americas

     In the Lands of the Aztecs and the Incas

     Colonies of Sugar

     Settler Colonies in North America

The Steppes and Siberia: The Making of a Russian Empire

     Experiencing the Russian Empire

    Russians and Empire

Asian Empires

     Making China an Empire

     Muslims and Hindus in the Mughal Empire

     Muslims and Christians in the Ottoman Empire

Reflections: The Centrality of Context in World History

Second Thoughts

     What’s the Significance?

     Big Picture Questions

     Next Steps: For Further Study


Snapshot: Ethnic Composition of Colonial Societies in Latin America

*Portrait: Do–a Marina, Between Two Worlds

14. Economic Transformations: Commerce and Consequence, 1450–1750

Europeans and Asian Commerce

     A Portuguese Empire of Commerce

     Spain and the Philippines

     The East India Companies

     Asian Commerce

Silver and Global Commerce

The "World Hunt": Fur in Global Commerce

Commerce in People: The Atlantic Slave Trade

     The Slave Trade in Context

     The Slave Trade in Practice

     Consequences: The Impact of the Slave Trade in Africa

Reflections: Economic Globalization—Then and Now

Second Thoughts

     What’s the Significance?

     Big Picture Questions

     Next Steps: For Further Study


Snapshot: The Slave Trade in Numbers (1501-1866)

*Portrait: Ayuba Suleiman Diallo, To Slavery and Back

15 Cultural Transformations: Religion and Science, 1450–1750

The Globalization of Christianity

     Western Christendom Fragmented: The Protestant Reformation

     Christianity Outward Bound

     Conversion and Adaptation in Spanish America

     An Asian Comparison: China and the Jesuits

Persistence and Change in Afro-Asian Cultural Traditions

     Expansion and Renewal in the Islamic World

     China: New Directions in an Old Tradition

     India: Bridging the Hindu/Muslim Divide

A New Way of Thinking: The Birth of Modern Science

     The Question of Origins: Why Europe?

     Science as Cultural Revolution

     Science and Enlightenment

     Looking Ahead: Science in the Nineteenth Century

     European Science beyond the West

Reflections: Cultural Borrowing and Its Hazards

Second Thoughts

     What’s the Significance?

     Big Picture Questions

     Next Steps: For Further Study


Snapshot: Catholic/Protestant Differences in the Sixteenth Century

Snapshot: Major Thinkers and Achievements of the Scientific Revolution

*Portrait: Ursula de Jesus, An Afro-Peruvian Slave and Christian Visionary

Part Five: The European Moment In World History, 1750–1914

The Big Picture

European Centrality and the Problem of Eurocentrism

     Eurocentric Geography and History

     Countering Eurocentrism

*Mapping Part Five

16 Atlantic Revolutions, Global Echoes, 1750–1914

Atlantic Revolutions in a Global Context

Comparing Atlantic Revolutions

     The North American Revolution, 1775–1787

     The French Revolution, 1789–1815

     The Haitian Revolution, 1791–1804

     Spanish American Revolutions, 1810–1825

Echoes of Revolution

     The Abolition of Slavery

     Nations and Nationalism

     Feminist Beginnings

Reflections: Revolutions Pro and Con

Second Thoughts

     What’s the Significance?

     Big Picture Questions

     Next Steps: For Further Study


Snapshot: Key Moments in the Growth of Nationalism

*Portrait: Kartini, Feminism and Nationalism in Java

17 Revolutions of Industrialization, 1750–1914

Explaining the Industrial Revolution

     Why Europe?

     Why Britain?

The First Industrial Society

     The British Aristocracy

     The Middle Classes

     The Laboring Classes

     Social Protest

     Europeans in Motion

Variations on a Theme: Comparing Industrialization in the United States and Russia

     The United States: Industrialization without Socialism

     Russia: Industrialization and Revolution

The Industrial Revolution and Latin America in the Nineteenth Century

     After Independence in Latin America

     Facing the World Economy

     Becoming like Europe?

Reflections: History and Horse Races

Second Thoughts

     What’s the Significance?

     Big Picture Questions

     Next Steps: For Further Study


Snapshot: Measuring the Industrial Revolution

Snapshot: The Industrial Revolution and the Global Divide

*Portrait: Ellen Johnston, Factory Girl and Poet

18 Colonial Encounters in Asia and Africa, 1750–1950

Industry and Empire

A Second Wave of European Conquests

Under European Rule

     Cooperation and Rebellion

     Colonial Empires with a Difference

Ways of Working: Comparing Colonial Economies

     Economies of Coercion: Forced Labor and the Power of the State

     Economies of Cash-Crop Agriculture: The Pull of the Market

     Economies of Wage Labor: Migration for Work

     Women and the Colonial Economy: Examples from Africa

     Assessing Colonial Development

Believing and Belonging: Identity and Cultural Change in the Colonial Era



     "Race" and "Tribe"

Reflections: Who Makes History?

Second Thoughts

     What’s the Significance?

     Big Picture Questions

     Next Steps: For Further Study


Snapshot: Long-Distance Migration in an Age of Empire, 1846–1940

*Portrait: Wanjiku of Kenya, An Ordinary Woman in Extraordinary Times

19 Empire in Collision: Europe, the Middle East, and East Asia, 1800–1914

Reversal of Fortune: China’s Century of Crisis

     The Crisis Within

     Western Pressures

     The Failure of Conservative Modernization

The Ottoman Empire and the West in the Nineteenth Century

     "The Sick Man of Europe"

     Reform and Its Opponents

     Outcomes: Comparing China and the Ottoman Empire

The Japanese Difference: The Rise of a New East Asian Power

     The Tokugawa Background

     American Intrusion and the Meiji Restoration

     Modernization Japanese Style

     Japan and the World

Reflections: Success and Failure in History

Second Thoughts

     What’s the Significance?

     Big Picture Questions

     Next Steps: For Further Study


Snapshot: Chinese/British Trade at Canton, 1835–1836

*Portrait: Commissioner Lin, Confronting the Opium Trade

Part Six: The Most Recent Century, 1914–2012

The Big Picture

Since World War I: A New Period in World History?

*Mapping Part Six

20 Collapse at the Center: World War, Depression, and the Rebalancing of Global Power, 1914–1970s

The First World War: European Civilization in Crisis, 1914–1918

     An Accident Waiting to Happen

     Legacies of the Great War

Capitalism Unraveling: The Great Depression

Democracy Denied: Comparing Italy, Germany, and Japan

     The Fascist Alternative in Europe

     Hitler and the Nazis

     Japanese Authoritarianism

     A Second World War

     The Road to War in Asia

     The Road to War in Europe

     The Outcomes of Global Conflict

The Recovery of Europe

Reflections: War and Remembrance: Learning from History

Second Thoughts

     What’s the Significance?

     Big Picture Questions

     Next Steps: For Further Study


Snapshot: Comparing the Impact of the Depression

*Portrait: Etty Hillesum, Witness to the Holocaust

21 Revolution, Socialism, and Global Conflict: The Rise and Fall of World Communism, 1917–Present

Global Communism

Comparing Revolutions as a Path to Communism

     Russia: Revolution in a Single Year

     China: A Prolonged Revolutionary Struggle

Building Socialism in Two Countries

     Communist Feminism

     Socialism in the Countryside

     Communism and Industrial Development

     The Search for Enemies

East versus West: A Global Divide and a Cold War

     Military Conflict and the Cold War

     Nuclear Standoff and Third World Rivalry

Paths to the End of Communism

     China: Abandoning Communism and Maintaining the Party

     The Soviet Union: The Collapse of Communism and Country

Reflections: To Judge or Not to Judge

Second Thoughts

     What’s the Significance?

     Big Picture Questions

     Next Steps: For Further Study


Snapshot: China under Mao, 1949–1976

*Portrait: Anna Dubova, A Peasant Woman and Soviet Communist

22 The End of Empire: The Global South on the Global Stage, 1914–Present

Toward Freedom: Struggles for Independence

     The End of Empire in World History

     Explaining African and Asian Independence

Comparing Freedom Struggles

     The Case of India: Ending British Rule

     The Case of South Africa: Ending Apartheid

Experiments with Freedom

     Experiments in Political Order: Party, Army, and the Fate of Democracy

     Experiments in Economic Development: Changing Priorities, Varying Outcomes

     Experiments with Culture: The Role of Islam in Turkey and Iran

Reflections: History in the Middle of the Stream

Second Thoughts

     What’s the Significance?

     Big Picture Questions

     Next Steps: For Further Study


Snapshot: World Population Growth, 1950-2011

*Portrait: Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Muslim Pacifist

23 Capitalism and Culture: A New Phase of Global Interaction, since 1945

The Transformation of the World Economy


     Growth, Instability, and Inequality

     Globalization and an American Empire

The Globalization of Liberation: Focus on Feminism

     Feminism in the West

     Feminism in the Global South

     International Feminism

Religion and Global Modernity

     Fundamentalism on a Global Scale

     Creating Islamic Societies: Resistance and Renewal in the World of Islam

     Religious Alternatives to Fundamentalism

Experiencing the Anthropocene Era: Environment and Environmentalism

     The Global Environment Transformed

     Green and Global

Final Reflections: Pondering the OAR

Second Thoughts

     What’s the Significance?

     Big Picture Questions

     Next Steps: For Further Study


*Snapshot: Global Development and Inequality: 2011

*Portrait: Rachel Carson, Pioneer of Environmentalism




About the Author

*New to this edition

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