Ways of the World: A Brief Global History to 1500 / Edition 1

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Ways of the World offers a genuine alternative for world history survey courses. Designed from the beginning as a brief text, Ways of the World focuses on the "big picture" of significant historical developments and is thoroughly global in its thematic and comparative approach. The accessible voice of a single author, with long experience in the classroom and in the world history movement, delivers to students an insightful new synthesis, thought provoking questions, and chapter ending sections that invite reflection on the meaning of world history. Available in full color and in combined and split volumes, Ways of the World just might be the book you’ve been waiting for.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312452889
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's
  • Publication date: 9/3/2008
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 480
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

ROBERT W. STRAYER comes to the writing of this text with wide experience in the world history enterprise. With a Ph.D. in European and African history from the University of Wisconsin, he has taught world history at many levels, beginning with a two-year stint in high school history instruction in Ethiopia with the Peace Corps. Most of his academic career was spent at SUNY College at Brockport, where he taught world history as well as African and Soviet history for three decades and received both the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and a similar award for Excellence in Scholarship. In 1998, he was a visiting professor of world history at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. Since moving to California in 2002, he has taught world history at the University of California, Santa Cruz; California State University, Monterey Bay; and Cabrillo College. World history has been the primary intellectual focus of his career, during which he has served as a teacher, scholar, textbook author, consultant, and member of the Executive Committee of the World History Association.

Among his publications are works in African history, including Kenya: Focus on Nationalism (1975) and The Making of Mission Communities in East Africa (1978). More recently, he developed a specialty in Soviet history and wrote Why Did the Soviet Union Collapse? (1998) and The Communist Experiment (2007), comparing the experience of the Soviet Union with that of China. He was the senior author of an earlier world history textbook, The Making of the Modern World (1988; 1995), and has co-edited McGraw-Hill’s Explorations in World History series. He has also published in a number of specialized journals, such as the Journal of World History.

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Table of Contents

VOLUME 1: To 1500
Prologue: From Cosmic History to Human History
The History of the Universe
Snapshot: A History of the Universe as a Cosmic Calendar
The History of a Planet
The History of the Human Species…in a Single Paragraph:
A Preview
Why World History?
Comparison, Connection, and Change: The Three Cs of
World History

The Big Picture: Turning Points in Early World History
The Emergence of Humankind
The Globalization of Humankind

The Revolution of Farming
The Turning Point of Civilization
Landmarks of Early World History, to 500 B.C.E.

Chapter 1 First Peoples: Populating the Planet, to 10,000 B.C.E.
Out of Africa to the Ends of the Earth: First Migrations
Snapshot: The Long Road to the Global Presence
of Humankind
Into Eurasia
Into Australia
Into the Americas
Into the Pacific
The Ways We Were
The First Human Societies
Economy and the Environment
The Realm of the Spirit
Snapshot: The Paleolithic Era in Perspective
Settling Down: "The Great Transition"
Comparing Paleolithic Societies
The San of Southern Africa
The Chumash of Southern California
Reflections: The Uses of the Paleolithic

Second Thoughts
What's the Significance?
Big Picture Questions
Next Steps: For Further Study

Chapter 2 First Farmers: The Revolutions of Agriculture,
ca. 10,000 B.C.E. – 3000 B.C.E.
The Agricultural Revolution in World History
Comparing Agricultural Beginnings
Common Patterns
Snapshot: Agricultural Breakthroughs
The Globalization of Agriculture
Snapshot: The History of Maize/Corn
Triumph and Resistance
The Culture of Agriculture
Social Variation in the Age of Agriculture
Pastoral Societies
Agricultural Village Societies
Reflections: The Legacies of Agriculture

Second Thoughts
What's the Significance?
Big Picture Questions
Next Steps: For Further Study

Chapter 3 First Civilizations: Cities, States, and
Unequal Societies, 3500 B.C.E. – 500 B.C.E.
Something New: The Emergence of Civilizations
Introducing the First Civilizations
The Question of Origins
An Urban Revolution
The Erosion of Equality
Hierarchies of Class
Hierarchies of Gender
Patriarchy in Practice
The Rise of the State
Coercion and Consent
Snapshot: Writing in Ancient Civilizations
Writing and Accounting
The Grandeur of Kings
Comparing Mesopotamia and Egypt
Snapshot: Key Moments in Mesopotamian History
Environment and Culture
Cities and States
Snapshot: Key Moments in Nile Valley Civilizations
Interaction and Exchange
Reflections: "Civilization:" What’s in a Word?

Second Thoughts
What's the Significance?
Big Picture Questions
Next Steps: For Further Study

500 B.C.E. – 500 C.E.
The Big Picture: The Globalization of Civilization
Continuities in Civilization
Changes in Civilization
Snapshot: World Population During the Age of
Agricultural Civilization
Classical Civilizations
Landmarks of the Classical Era, 500 B.C.E. to 500 C.E.

Chapter 4 Eurasian Empires, 500 B.C.E. - 500 C.E.
Empires and Civilizations in Collision: The Persians and
the Greeks
The Persian Empire
The Greeks
Snapshot: Key Political Moments in Greek Civilization
Collision: The Greco-Persian Wars
Collision: Alexander and the Hellenistic Era
Comparing Empires: Roman and Chinese
Rome: From City-State to Empire
Snapshot: Key Moments in the History of the
Roman Empire
China: From Warring States to Empire
Consolidating the Roman and Chinese Empires
Snapshot: Key Moments in Early Chinese History
The Collapse of Empires
Intermittent Empire: The Case of India
Reflections: Classical Empires and the Twentieth Century

Second Thoughts
What's the Significance?
Big Picture Questions
Next Steps: For Further Study

Chapter 5 Eurasian Cultural Traditions, 500 B.C.E. – 500 C.E.
China and the Search for Order
Snapshot: Thinkers and Philosophies of the
Classical Era
The Legalist Answer
The Confucian Answer
The Daoist Answer
Cultural Traditions of Classical India
South Asian Religion: From Ritual Sacrifice to
Philosophical Speculation
The Buddhist Challenge
Hinduism as a Religion of Duty and Devotion
Moving Toward Monotheism: The Search for God in the
Middle East
The Cultural Tradition of Classical Greece: The Search for
a Rational Order
The Greek Way of Knowing
The Greek Legacy
Snapshot: Reflections on Human Love from
Mediterranean Civilization
Comparing Jesus and the Buddha
The Lives of the Founders
Establishing New Religions
Creating Institutions
Reflections: Religion and Historians

Second Thoughts
What's the Significance?
Big Picture Questions
Next Steps: For Further Study

Chapter 6 Eurasian Social Hierarchies, 500 B.C.E. – 500 C.E.
Society and the State in Classical China
An Elite of Officials
The Landlord Class
Class and Caste in India
Caste as Varna
Snapshot: Social Life and Duty in Classical India
Caste as Jati
The Functions of Caste
Slavery in the Classical Era: The Case of the Roman Empire
Slavery and Civilization
Snapshot: Comparing Greco-Roman and
American Slavery
The Making of a Slave Society
Resistance and Rebellion
Comparing Patriarchies of the Classical Era
A Changing Patriarchy: The Case of China
Contrasting Patriarchies in Athens and Sparta
Reflections: Arguing with Solomon and Buddha

Second Thoughts
What's the Significance?
Big Picture Questions
Next Steps: For Further Study

Chapter 7 Classical Era Variations: Africa and the Americas,
500 B.C.E. – 1200 C.E.
Snapshot: Continental Population in the Classical Era
The African Northeast
Meroe: Continuing a Nile Valley Civilization
Axum: The Making of a Christian Kingdom
Along the Niger River: Cities Without States
South of the Equator: The World of Bantu Africa
Cultural Encounters
Society and Religion
Civilizations of Mesoamerica
The Maya: Writing and Warfare
Teotihuacan: The Americas’ Greatest City
Civilizations of the Andes
Chavin: A Pan-Andean Religious Movement
Moche: A Regional Andean Civilization
North America in the Classical Era: From Chaco to Cahokia
Pit Houses and Great Houses: The Ancestral Pueblo
The Mound Builders of the Eastern Woodlands
Reflections: Deciding What’s Important: Balance in
World History

Second Thoughts
What's the Significance?
Big Picture Questions
Next Steps: For Further Study

The Big Picture: Defining a Millennium
Third Wave Civilizations: Something New, Something Old,
Something Blended
The Ties that Bind: Trans-Regional Interaction in the
Post-Classical Era
Landmarks in the Era of Accelerating Connections,
500 to 1500

Chapter 8 Commerce and Culture, 500-1500
Silk Roads: Exchange across Eurasia
The Growth of the Silk Roads
Goods in Transit
Snapshot: Economic Exchange Along the Silk Road
Cultures in Transit
Disease in Transit
Sea Roads: Exchange across the Indian Ocean
Weaving the Web of an Indian Ocean World
Snapshot: Economic Exchange in the Indian
Ocean Basin
Sea Roads as a Catalyst for Change: Southeast Asia
and Srivijaya
Sea Roads as a Catalyst for Change: East Africa and
Swahili Civilization
Sand Roads: Exchange across the Sahara Desert
Commercial Beginnings in West Africa
Gold, Salt, and Slaves: Trade and Empire in West Africa
An American Network: Commerce and Connection in the
Western Hemisphere
Reflections: Economic Globalization — Ancient and Modern

Second Thoughts
What's the Significance?
Big Picture Questions
Next Steps: For Further Study

Chapter 9 East Asian Connections: China and the World,
500-1300 C.E.
The Re-Emergence of a Unified China
A "Golden Age" of Chinese Achievement
Women in the Song Dynasty
Snapshot: Key Moments in the History of
Post-Classical China
China and the Northern Nomads: A Chinese World Order
in the Making
The Tribute System in Theory
The Tribute System in Practice
Cultural Influence Across an Ecological Frontier
Coping with China: Comparing Korea, Vietnam, and Japan
Korea and China
Vietnam and China
Japan and China
China and the Eurasian World Economy
Spillovers: China’s Impact on Eurasia
On the Receiving End: China as Economic Beneficiary
China and Buddhism
Making Buddhism Chinese
Losing State Support: The Crisis of Chinese Buddhism
Reflections: Why Do Things Change?

Second Thoughts
What's the Significance?
Big Picture Questions
Next Steps: For Further Study

Chapter 10 The Worlds of European Christendom: Connected
and Divided, 500-1300
Eastern Christendom: Building on the Past
Snapshot: Key Moments in Byzantine History
The Byzantine State
The Byzantine Church and Christian Divergence
Byzantium and the World
The Conversion of Russia
Western Christendom: Constructing a Hybrid Civilization
Snapshot: Key Moments in the Evolution of
Western Civilization
In the Wake of Roman Collapse: Political Life in
Western Europe, 500-1000
In the Wake of Roman Collapse: Society and the
Church, 500-1000
Accelerating Change in the West, 1000-1300
Europe Outward Bound: The Crusading Tradition
The West in Comparative Perspective
Pluralism in Politics
Reason and Faith
Reflections: Remembering and Forgetting: Continuity and
Surprise in the Worlds of Christendom

Second Thoughts
What's the Significance?
Big Picture Questions
Next Steps: For Further Study

Chapter 11 Afro-Eurasian Connections: The Worlds of Islam,
The Birth of a New Religion
The Homeland of Islam
Snapshot: Key Moments in the Early History of Islam
The Messenger and the Message
The Transformation of Arabia
The Making of an Arab Empire
War and Conquest
Conversion to Islam
Divisions in the Islamic World
Women and Men in Early Islam
Islam and Cultural Encounter: A Four-Way Comparison
The Case of India
The Case of Anatolia
The Case of West Africa
The Case of Spain
The World of Islam as a New Civilization
Networks of Faith
Networks of Exchange
Snapshot: Key Achievements in Islamic Science
and Scholarship
Reflections: A Tale of Two Travelers

Second Thoughts
What's the Significance?
Big Picture Questions
Next Steps: For Further Study

Chapter 12 Pastoral Peoples on the Global Stage: The Mongol
Moment, 1200-1500
Looking Back and Looking Around: The Long History of
Pastoral Nomads
Snapshot: Varieties of Pastoral Societies
The World of Pastoral Societies
The Xiongnu: An Early Nomadic Empire
The Arabs and Turks
The Maasai of East Africa
Break-Out: The Mongol Empire
Snapshot: Key Events of the Mongol Era
From Temujin to Chinggis Khan: The Rise of the
Mongol Empire
Explaining the Mongol Moment
Encountering the Mongols: Comparing Three Cases
China and the Mongols
Persia and the Mongols
Russia and the Mongols
The Mongol Empire as a Eurasian Network
Toward a World Economy
Diplomacy on a Eurasian Scale
Cultural Exchange in the Mongol Realm
The Plague: A Eurasian Pandemic
Reflections: Changing Images of Nomadic Peoples

Second Thoughts
What's the Significance?
Big Picture Questions
Next Steps: For Further Study

Chapter 13 The Worlds of the Fifteenth Century
Snapshot: Around the World in the Fifteenth Century
The Shapes of Human Communities
Paleolithic Persistence
Agricultural Village Societies
Herding Peoples
Civilizations of the Fifteenth Century: Comparing
China and Europe
Ming Dynasty China
European Comparisons: State-Building and
Cultural Renewal
European Comparisons: Maritime Voyaging
Snapshot: Key Moments in European Oceanic 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, 1500-2000
Snapshot: World Population Growth, 1000-2000
Reflections: What If? Chance and Contingency in
World History

Second Thoughts
What's the Significance?
Big Picture Questions
Next Steps: For Further Study


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