From the Beginnings to 1500, Chapters 1-22 This groundbreaking world history text has, in its first edition, become a market leader by offering a fresh, global perspective on the past. The text is unique in approach; covering the world as a whole, examining the formations and development of the world’s major societies (“traditions”), and also systematically exploring cross-cultural interactions and exchanges that have been some of the most effective agents of change in all of world history (“encounters”). In addition, the authors have taken great care in constructing a coherent vision of the past that is not weighed down by a mass of detail, thus enabling instructors to incorporate additional readings of their choosing. Finally the text emphasizes that historical processes work themselves out through the lives and experiences of individual human beings, opening each chapter with an account of individual experiences that illuminate themes in that chapter. The second edition includes scholarship updates throughout and revisions to organization and content.
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Jerry H. Bentley is professor of history at the University of Hawai`i and editor of the Journal of World History. He has written extensively on the cultural history of early modern Europe and on cross-cultural interactions in world history. His research on the religious, moral, and political writings of the Renaissance led to the publication of Humanists and Holy Writ: New Testament Scholarship in the Renaissance (1983) and Politics and Culture in Renaissance Naples (1987). His more recent research has concentrated on global history and particularly on processes of cross-cultural interaction. His book Old World Encounters: Cross-Cultural Contacts and Exchanges in Pre-Modern Times (1993) studies processes of cultural exchange and religious conversion before modern times, and his pamphlet Shapes of World History in Twentieth-Century Scholarship (1996) discusses the historiography of world history. His current interests include processes of cross-cultural interaction and cultural exchange in modern times.
Herbert F. Ziegler is an associate professor of history at the University of Hawai`i. He has taught courses on world history for the last 19 years and is currently the director of the world history program at the University of Hawaii. For several years he also served as the book review editor of the Journal World History. His interest in twentieth-century European social and political history led to the publication of Nazi Germany’s New Aristocracy (1990). He is at present working on a study that explores uncharted aspects of German society, especially the cultural manifestations of humor and satire in the Nazi era. His other current research project focuses on the application of complexity theory to a comparative study of societies and their internal dynamics.
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