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North Castle Books

Western Civilization: A Global and Comparative Approach, Volume I: To 1715
Authored by: Kenneth L. Campbell

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Cloth ISBN: Not Available Paper ISBN: 978-0-7656-2253-2
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Information: 496pp. Tables, figures, illustrations, maps, index, online instructor's manual.
Publication Date: June 2012.  


Description: Western Civilization: A Comparative and Global Approach is a one-author, one-voice narrative history of western civilization from ancient times to the present. Within an overarching chronological approach, individual chapters focus on social, cultural, political, economic, and intellectual life during particular, sometimes overlapping, periods.

Religion, everyday life, and transforming moments are the three main themes of the book that make the past interesting, intelligible, and relevant to today's students. Another important feature is the incorporation of a comparative approach-using illustrations, documents, quotes, and visual or written material to provide students with a keener understanding of the West through comparison with other civilizations and cultures. Every chapter includes original source boxes, timelines, and web links to additional and complementary information.

An online instructor's manual written by the author provides instructors with access to a wide variety of resources including image galleries; web links, maps, test materials, and suggested readings.

Selected Contents:

List of Tables, Maps, and Charts
List of Illustrations

1. The Beginnings of History and the Ancient Near East
Human Origins and Prehistory
The Shaping of the Past: The Agricultural Revolution
The First Civilizations and the Earliest Evidence for Religion
The Urban Revolution in Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley, and China
Mesopotamia: Sumer, Akkad, Assyria, and Babylon
Egypt: Politics, Religion, and Everyday Life
Israel and the Religion of the Hebrews
Human and Divine Law: Governing Human Behavior

2. Greece and the Mediterranean World, ca. 2000-350 BCE
Early Greece
The Shaping of the Greek Polis
Persia and Greece
Greece in the Classical Age
The Shaping of the Past: The Peloponnesian Wars
Classical Greek Culture (480-338 BCE)

3: The Hellenistic Age and the Rise of Rome, ca. 350-30 BCE
Philip of Macedon, Alexander the Great, and the Hellenistic World
The Division of Alexander's Empire
The Shaping of the Past: Hellenistic Philosophy
Hellenistic Science, Technology, and Medicine
India in the Hellenistic Age
Early Rome and the Shaping of the Roman Republic
The Punic Wars and Overseas Expansion
The Revolution of the Gracchi Brothers
The Career of Caesar and the Collapse of the Roman Republic

4. The Roman Empire and the Enduring Legacy of the Ancient World, ca. 30 BCE-500 CE
Augustus and Augustan Rome
Hellenistic Judaism and the Dead Sea Scrolls
The Shaping of the Past: The Life and Teachings of Jesus
The Roman Empire to 284 CE
The Han Empire of China
Political and Economic Change and the Decline of the Roman Empire
Social and Religious Change and the Decline of the Roman Empire
The Fall of Rome
The Continuation of the Eastern Empire

5. Early Christian Europe, Byzantium, and the Rise of Islam, ca. 410-750
The Spread of Christianity
Eastern Versus Western Monasticism
Political Decentralization After the Fall of the Roman Empire
The Emergence of New Kingdoms in the West--Franks, Goths, and Lombards
The Anglo-Saxons
Justinian and Theodora
Politics and Religion in the Byzantine Empire After Justinian
Everyday Life in the Byzantine Empire
The Shaping of the Past: The Life of Muhammad
The Rise of Islam

6. The Shaping of Medieval Europe, ca. 750-1100
The Carolingian Renaissance and Everyday Life in Carolingian Times
The Decline of the Carolingians and the Emergence of Feudal Traditions
War, Invasion, and the Political Development of Medieval Europe
Changing Religious Values
The Shaping of the Past: Medieval Art and Romanesque Architecture
Life and Society in the Ninth and Tenth Centuries
The Mayan Civilization of Mesoamerica

7. The High Middle Ages, ca. 1000-1300
The Shaping of the Past: Agricultural Expansion and the Development of Urban Centers
Society and Everyday Life in the High Middle Ages
Political Leadership and Kingship in Sub-Saharan Africa and Europe
Church and State in the High Middle Ages
Historical Relations with the East--The Crusades
Medieval Thought and Philosophy
Medieval Art and Literature

8. The Crises of the Late Middle Ages, ca. 1300-1500
The Black Death
Social Upheaval and Peasant Rebellion in Europe and China
The Shaping of the Past: Military Transformation and the Hundred Years War
Warfare and Political Change in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries
Symptoms of Waning Authority in the Western Christian Church
Reform Ideas, the Conciliar Movement, and Popular Christianity

9. The Renaissance, ca. 1350-1517
Signorial Rule in Milan and Northern Italy
The Most Serene Republic of Venice
Florence and Renaissance Society
The Shaping of the Past: Petrarch and the Origins of Renaissance Humanism
Humanism and the Dignity and Nobility of Humanity
Humanism and the Northern Renaissance
The Social Transformation of Art in Renaissance Italy
The Social Transformation of Art in Northern Europe
Ming China

10. The Beginnings of European Expansion, ca. 1400-1540
The Rise of Capitalism
The Rise of Portugal and Spain
Mesoamerican Civilizations: The Aztecs and the Incas
The First Encounters of Columbus with Native Americans
The Shaping of the Past: Cortes and the Conquest of Mexico
Pizarro and the Conquest of Peru
Other Examples of Expansion

11. The Protestant and Catholic Reformations
The Shaping of the Past: Martin Luther's Break with the Church
The Further Shaping of the Protestant Reformation
Thomas Cranmer, Henry VIII, and the English Reformation
Social Consequences of the Reformation
The Reformation and the Jews
The Inquisition and the Religious Legacy of Sixteenth-Century Spain
The Catholic Counter-Reformation
Politics and Religion in the Sixteenth Century
Russia and the Eastern Orthodox Church

12. The Age of European Expansion, ca. 1550-1650
The Iberian Empires in Latin America
The Erosion of Spanish Commercial Power and the Rise of the Dutch
English Exploration and Expansion
French Exploration and Expansion
The Effects of European Colonization in North America
European Expansion into Africa and the Slave Trade
The Shaping of the Past: The Formation of the Dutch West India Company
European Missionary Activity in the Far East
The Effect of European Expansion in China and India
Muscovite Expansion Through Siberia
Japan in the Age of European Expansion

13. Absolutism and Political Revolution in the Seventeenth Century
The Shaping of the Past: The Assassination of Henry IV and the Rise of French Absolutism
Absolutism in France Under Louis XIV
The Habsburgs in Spain and Austria
Absolute Government in Prussia and Russia
Absolute Government in East and West: Manchu China and Monarchical Europe
The Shaping of the Past: The Execution of Charles I and the Struggle Against Absolute Government in Britain
Political Conflict and Development in the Netherlands
War and Political Consciousness in the Seventeenth Century

14. The Scientific Revolution and Changes in Thought and Society in the Seventeenth Century
The Shaping of the Past: Copernicus's On the Revolution of the Heavenly Bodies
and the Scientific Revolution
Political Thought in the Seventeenth Century
Art and Literature in the Seventeenth Century
Everyday Life and Social Conditions in Seventeenth-Century Europe
Early Modern India: Thought, Culture, and Social Change

Epilogue: The Shaping of the Past and the Challenge of the Future
About the Author

Comment(s): "Dr. Campbell's Western Civilization text provides an engaging and concise narrative with an excellent balance of social as well as political history. This book deserves serious consideration by all historians who seek a strong text that places the story of Western civilization in the wider global context. This text holds particular appeal due to its excellent readability, context and coverage for today's college history student. This book stands out among the many textbook options for college instruction. It provides an excellent blend of social, political and cultural history with the historical context necessary to make the human story relevant." -- Jane Scimeca, Brookdale Community College, Lincroft, NJ

Review(s): "Kenneth Campbell has written an appealing, thoughtful, and much needed comparative history text, which would work well in any first-year college-level history course on Western Civilization. To fit 5,000 years of history into a scant 496 pages is an enormous (and perhaps impossible) task, yet Campbell convincingly succeeds with his synthesis, and he does so with elegance. The work is masterly and thought provoking, without lapsing into the encyclopedia blandness of many history textbooks. In conjunction with the author's online Instructor's Manual, the text is a compelling exposition of the history of Western Civilization." -- Teaching History

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