ISBN-10:
1442601906
ISBN-13:
9781442601901
Pub. Date:
09/26/2013
Publisher:
University of Toronto Press, Higher Education Division
The Shaping of Western Civilization: From Antiquity to the Present / Edition 1

The Shaping of Western Civilization: From Antiquity to the Present / Edition 1

by Michael Burger

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781442601901
Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Higher Education Division
Publication date: 09/26/2013
Pages: 512
Sales rank: 745,208
Product dimensions: 7.60(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Michael Burger is an historian of medieval Europe and the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Auburn University at Montgomery. He is the author of Bishops, Clerks, and Diocesan Governance in Thirteenth-Century England: Reward and Punishment (2014) and The Shaping of Western Civilization (2013).

Table of Contents

List of Figures

List of Maps

Preface

Notes on references, further reading, and dates



1. Foundations: The Ancient Near East

2. The Greeks: Archaic, Classical, and Hellenistic

3. Rome: From Republic to Empire

4. Rome's Fall? Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages

5. The High and Late Middle Ages

6. The Early Modern West I: The Reformation, the great consolidation, and the end of Christendom

7. The Early Modern West II: Science, society, and the state

8. The Early Modern West III: Enlightenment, industrialization, and an unraveled compromise

9. The West, 1815-1914: The search for community, and responses to the Enlightenment and revolution

10. From ca. 1914 to the present: The search for community, global conflict, and the harvest of the modern West

11. Coda: The Shaping of Western Civilization



Sources

Index

What People are Saying About This

Oren Falk

Instructors of a Western Civilization curriculum can nowadays choose from any number of textbooks, most of which are, in all honesty, perfectly good. But I know of no other textbook in English that I would recommend to undergraduates, graduate students, and colleagues as a thought-provoking read on its own merits. Burger's survey covers all of the expected factual bases, but it also challenges readers to reflect on the process of history-making itself, models enquiry for them, and calls attention to the structuring limitations on our pursuit of historical knowledge: evidence never speaks of its own accord, different questions require different levels of resolution, similarities among cultures serve to heighten the contrasts, past and present ways of looking at the world may be incommensurable, historians must beware of moralizing—and all this just in the first chapter! This is a book for those instructors who believe that the goal of teaching history is not ito impart knowledge but ito provoke their students to a certain way of thinking.

From the Publisher

I had become increasingly disillusioned with Western Civ textbooks in general, largely on the grounds that they present a unified, uncontroversial narrative, which is not at all how historians actually understand the past. The Shaping of Western Civilization is entirely different, in that, by highlighting puzzles and debates, it actually shows students what historians do. I am also pleased with the low-cost production, as I teach at a campus with many students of modest means. If and when I teach Western Civ again, I will almost certainly assign this text.

At last, an introductory text that takes the power of ideas seriously. Judicious and insightful, this book will treat students to the breadth and riches of Western civilization.

Instructors of a Western Civilization curriculum can nowadays choose from any number of textbooks, most of which are, in all honesty, perfectly good. But I know of no other textbook in English that I would recommend to undergraduates, graduate students, and colleagues as a thought-provoking read on its own merits. Burger's survey covers all of the expected factual bases, but it also challenges readers to reflect on the process of history-making itself, models enquiry for them, and calls attention to the structuring limitations on our pursuit of historical knowledge: evidence never speaks of its own accord, different questions require different levels of resolution, similarities among cultures serve to heighten the contrasts, past and present ways of looking at the world may be incommensurable, historians must beware of moralizing—and all this just in the first chapter! This is a book for those instructors who believe that the goal of teaching history is not to impart knowledge but to provoke their students to a certain way of thinking.

Gerry Bowler

At last, an introductory text that takes the power of ideas seriously. Judicious and insightful, this book will treat students to the breadth and riches of Western civilization.

William H. Campbell

I had become increasingly disillusioned with Western Civ textbooks in general, largely on the grounds that they present a unified, uncontroversial narrative, which is not at all how historians actually understand the past. The Shaping of Western Civilization is entirely different, in that, by highlighting puzzles and debates, it actually shows students what historians do. I am also pleased with the low-cost production, as I teach at a campus with many students of modest means. If and when I teach Western Civ again, I will almost certainly assign this text.

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