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The Western Heritage: Since 1300 (7th Edition) Hardcover – July 6, 2000

29 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0130277190 ISBN-10: 0130277193 Edition: 7th

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap


As we enter the twenty-first century, the heritage of Western civilization is a major point of departure for understanding our own epoch. The unprecedented globalization of daily life has occurred in large measure through the spread of Western technological, economic, and political influences. From the sixteenth through the end of the twentieth century the West exerted vast influences throughout the globe for both good and ill, and the global citizens of this new century live in the wake of that impact. It is the goal of this book to introduce its readers to the Western heritage so that they may be better informed and more culturally sensitive citizens of the emerging global age.

Since The Western Heritage first appeared, we have sought to provide our readers with a work that does justice to the richness and variety of Western civilization. We hope that such an understanding of the West will foster lively debate on its character, values, institutions, and global influence. Indeed, we believe such a critical outlook on their own culture has characterized the peoples of the West since its earliest history. Through such debates we define ourselves and the values of our culture. Consequently, we welcome the debate and hope that The Western Heritage, seventh edition, can help to foster a genuinely informed discussion through its overview of Western civilization, its strengths, weaknesses, and the controversies surrounding it.

Human beings make, experience, and record their history. In this edition as in past editions, our goal has been to present Western civilization fairly, accurately, and in a way that does justice to that great variety of human enterprise. History has many facets, no one of which alone can account for the others. Any attempt to tell the story of the West from a single overarching perspective, no matter how timely, is bound to neglect or suppress some important part of that story. Like all authors, we have had to make selections for an introductory text, but we have attempted to provide the broadest possible coverage suitable to that task of introduction. To that end we hope that the vast array of documents included in this book will allow the widest possible spectrum of people over the course of the centuries to give personal voice to their experience and to allow our readers to enter into that experience.

We also believe that any book addressing the experience of the West must also look beyond its historical European borders. The students reading this book are drawn from a wide variety of cultures and experiences. They live in a world characterized by highly interconnected economies and instant communication between cultures. In this emerging multicultural society it seems both appropriate and necessary to recognize the ways in which Western civilization has throughout its history interacted with other cultures, influencing other societies and being influenced by them. Examples of this two-way interaction, such as that with Islam, appear throughout the text. To further highlight the theme of interaction, The Western Heritage includes a series of comparative essays, The West & the World. (For a fuller description, see below.) Goals of the Text

Our primary goal has been to present a strong, clear narrative account of the central developments in Western history. We have also sought to call attention to certain critical themes:

The capacity of Western civilization from the time of the Greeks to the present to generate transforming self-criticism. The development of political freedom, constitutional government, and concern for the rule of law and individual rights. The shifting relations among religion, society, and the state. The development of science and technology and their expanding impact on thought, social institutions, and everyday life. The major religious and intellectual currents that have shaped Western culture.

We believe that these themes have been fundamental in Western civilization, shaping the past and exerting a continuing influence on the present.

FLEXIBLE PRESENTATION The Western Heritage, seventh edition, is designed to accommodate a variety of approaches to a course in Western civilization, allowing teachers to stress what is most important to them. Some teachers will ask students to read all the chapters. Others will select among them to re-enforce assigned readings and lectures. We have reorganized and rewritten the last two chapters (30 and 31) to permit instructors to end their course by emphasizing either social or political factors in the twentieth-century experience.

INTEGRATED SOCIAL, CULTURAL, AND POLITICAL HISTORY The Western Heritage provides one of the richest accounts of the social history of the West available today, with strong coverage of family life, the changing roles of women, and the place of the family in relation to broader economic, political, and social developments. This coverage reflects the explosive growth in social historical research in the past quarter century, which has enriched virtually all areas of historical study. In this edition we have again expanded both the breadth and depth of our coverage of social history through revisions of existing chapters, the addition of major new material, and the inclusion of new documents.

While strongly believing in the study of the social experience of the West, we also share the conviction that internal and external political events have shaped the Western experience in fundamental and powerful ways. The experiences of Europeans in the twentieth century under fascism, national socialism, and communism demonstrate that influence, as has, more recently, the collapse of communism in the former Soviet Union and eastern Europe. We have also been told repeatedly by teachers that no matter what their own historical specialization, they believe that a political narrative gives students an effective tool to begin to organize their understanding of the past. Consequently, we have made every effort to integrate the political with the social, cultural, and intellectual.

No other survey text presents so full an account of the religious and intellectual development of the West. People may be political and social beings, but they are also reasoning and spiritual beings. What they think and believe are among the most important things we can know about them. Their ideas about God, society, law, gender, human nature, and the physical world have changed over the centuries and continue to change. We cannot fully grasp our own approach to the world without understanding the intellectual currents of the past and their influence on our thoughts and conceptual categories.

CLARITY AND ACCESSIBILITY Good narrative history requires clear, vigorous prose. As in earlier editions, we have paid careful attention to the quality of our writing, subjecting every paragraph to critical scrutiny. Our goal was to make our presentation fully accessible to students without compromising vocabulary or conceptual level. We hope this effort will benefit both teachers and students.

Changes in the
Seventh Edition

INTRODUCING ART & THE WEST A beautiful and important new feature enhances students' understanding of the artistic heritage of the West. In every chapter we highlight a work of art or architecture and discuss how the work illuminates and reflects the period in which it was created. In Chapter 5, for example, a portrait of a young woman on the wall of a house in Pompeii and the accompanying essay provide a glimpse into the life of well-to-do young women in the Roman Empire (p. 161). In Chapter 7, two views of Salisbury Cathedral illustrate an essay on Gothic architecture (p. 248). In Chapter 16, two paintings tell contrasting stories about domestic life in eighteenth-century France (p. 526), and in Part 4, works by Turner, Manet, and Seurat illustrate both the power of the new industrialism and its effects on European social life. Part 5 includes discussions of paintings by Grosz, Magritte, and Picasso. In Chapter 30, Bread, painted by the Soviet realist Tatjiana Yablonskaya, and Jackson Pollock's One (Number 31, 1950), offer starkly contrasting views of twentieth-century culture (p. 1040). (See p. xxiv for a complete list of Art & The West essays.)

THE WEST & THE WORLD In this feature, we focus on six subjects, comparing Western institutions with those of other parts of the world, or discussing the ways in which developments in the West have influenced cultures in other areas of the globe. In the seventh edition, the essays are:

Part 1: Ancient Warfare (new) (p. 186) Part 2: The Invention of Printing in China and Europe (new) (p. 284) Part 3: The Columbian Exchange (new) (p. 582) Part 4: The Abolition of Slavery in the Transatlantic Economy (p. 736) Part 5: Imperialism: Ancient and Modern (p. 928) Part 6: Energy and the Modern World (new) (p. 1116)

RECENT SCHOLARSHIP As in previous editions, changes in this edition reflect our determination to incorporate the most recent developments in historical scholarship and the concerns of professional historians. Of particular interest are expanded discussions of:

Women in the history of the West. Adding to our longstanding commitment to the inclusion of the experience of women in Western civilization, this edition presents new scholarship on women in the ancient world and the Middle Ages, women and the scientific revolution, and women under the authoritarian governments of the twentieth century. (See, especially, chapters 3, 4, 5, 7, 14, 30. ) The Scientific Revolution. Chapter 14, which addresses the rise of the new science, has been wholly revised and rewritten to clarify the new scientific theory arising from the Copernican revolution, the new understanding of the Galileo case, the role of women in the new science, and the social institutions of the new science. The Dutch Golden Age. A new section in Chapter 15 discusses the United Netherlands during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Africa and the transatlantic economy. An extensive section in Chapter 17 explores the relationship of Africa to the transatlantic economy of the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries. We examine the role of African society and politics in the slave trade, the experience of Africans forcibly transported to the Americas, and the incorporation of elements of African culture into the New World. Jewish thinkers in the Enlightenment. A new section in Chapter 18 discusses the thought of Spinoza and Moses Mendelsohn as they relate to the role of Jewish religion and society in the wider European culture. The Holocaust. The discussion of the Holocaust has been significantly expanded in two ways. Chapter 29 provides more analysis of the causes of the Holocaust, and Chapter 30 includes an extensive new narrative of the particular case of the destruction of the Jews of Poland. Twentieth-century social history. The seventh edition of The Western Heritage presents the most extensive treatment of twentieth-century social history available in a survey text. We examine, in Chapter 30, the experiences of women under authoritarian governments, the collectivization of Soviet agriculture, the destruction of the Polish Jewish community, and European migration. The chapter concludes with a new section on the coming of the computer and the impact of new technology on European life. The history of the Cold War and Europe at the start of the twenty-first century. Chapter 31, on the Soviet-American rivalry and the collapse of communism, has been wholly rewritten and includes the conflict in the former Yugoslavia. Instructors may close their course with either of the twentieth-century chapters, depending on the issues they wish to emphasize. Chapter-by-Chapter Revisions

Chapter 1 The treatment of the origins of humankind has been completely rewritten to reflect the newest scholarship.

Chapters 3, 4, 5 contain new sections on Women in Homeric Society; Aspasia, Pericles' Common-law Wife; Greek Slavery; Women in Early Rome; Women of the Upper Classes in later Roman history.

Chapter 9 contains a discussion of medieval Russia.

Chapter 12 includes a shorter, rewritten discussion of The Thirty Years' War.

Chapter 14 has a wholly rewritten discussion of the Scientific Revolution and of the impact of the Scientific Revolution on philosophy, new or extensively rewritten sections on women and early modern science, the new institutions associated with the emerging scientific knowledge, religious faith and the new science, with an expanded discussion of the Galileo case.

Chapter 15 contains an extensive new section on the Dutch Golden Age, including the impact of its overseas empire on its prosperity.

Chapter 16 has a new section on The Impact of the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions on Working Women.

Chapter 17 includes a much expanded and revised section on African Slavery, the experiences of Africans in the Americas, and the cultural institutions they brought with them.

Chapter 18 has a new section on Jewish Thinkers in the Age of Enlightenment with emphasis on Spinoza and Moses Mendelsohn.

Chapter 22 has a refocused discussion of Karl Marx's thought.

Chapter 25 expands the treatment of racial thinking and the non-Western world.

Chapter 28 includes a rewritten discussion of the Soviet Experience in the 1930s.

Chapter 29 expands the discussion of the Holocaust.

Chapter 30 is a largely new chapter on twentieth-century social history, with major new sections on state violence, women under authoritarian governments, the collectivization of Soviet agriculture, the destruction of the Polish Jews, and the impact of the computer.

Chapter 31 has been extensively rewritten and reorganized to reflect the latest scholarship on the Cold War through the collapse of communism. It ends with a discussion of Europe at the Opening of the Global Century.

The last two chapters are written so that instructors, though teaching both chapters, may choose to close their course with either, depending upon their personal emphasis. Those instructors wishing to emphasize social history might end the course with Chapter 30 and those wishing to emphasize political development and great power relations may choose to conclude with Chapter 31.

MAPS AND ILLUSTRATIONS To help students understand the relationship between geography and history, we have added relief features to approximately one-half of the maps. All 90 maps have been carefully edited for accuracy. The text also contains close to 500 color and black and white illustrations, many of them new to the seventh edition.

PEDAGOGICAL FEATURES This edition retains the pedagogical features of the last edition, including part-opening comparative timelines, a list of key topics at the beginning of each chapter, chapter review questions, and questions accompanying the more than 200 source documents in the text. Each of these features is designed to make the text more accessible to students and to reinforce key concepts.

Illustrated timelines open each of the six parts of the book summarizing, side-by-side, the major events in politics and government, society and economy, and religion and culture. Primary source documents, more than one third new to this edition, acquaint students with the raw material of history and provide intimate contact with the people of the past and their concerns. Questions accompanying the source documents direct students toward important, thought-provoking issues and help them relate the documents to the material in the text. They can be used to stimulate class discussion or as topics for essays and study groups. Each chapter includes an outline, a list of key topics, and an introduction. Together these features provide a succinct overview of each chapter. Chronologies follow each major section in a chapter, listing significant events and their dates. In Perspective sections summarize the major themes of each chapter and provide a bridge to the next chapter. Chapter review questions help students review the material in a chapter and relate it to broader themes. They too can be used for class discussion and essay topics. Suggested readings lists following each chapter have been updated with new titles reflecting recent scholarship.

A NOTE ON DATES AND TRANSLITERATIONS This edition of The Western Heritage continues the practice of using B.C.E. (before the common era) and C.E. (common era) instead Of B.C. (before Christ) and A.D. (anno domini, the year of the Lord) to designate dates. We also follow the most accurate currently accepted English transliterations of Arabic words. For example, today Koran is being replaced by the more accurate Qur'an; similarly Muhammad is preferable to Mohammed and Muslim to Moslem.

Ancillary Instructional

The ancillary instructional materials that accompany The Western Heritage include print and multimedia supplements that are designed to reinforce and enliven the richness of the past and inspire students with the excitement of studying the history of Western civilization. Print Supplements for the Instructor

INSTRUCTOR'S MANUAL WITH TEST ITEMS The Instructor's Manual contains chapter summaries, key points and vital concepts, and information on audio-visual resources that can be used in developing and preparing lecture presentations. Also included is a test item file that offers multiple-choice, identification, and essay test questions.

PRENTICE HALL CUSTOM TEST This commercial-quality computerized test management program, for Windows and Macintosh environments, allows users to create their own tests using items from the printed Test Item File. The program allows users to edit the items in the Test Item File and to add their own questions. Online testing is also available.

TRANSPARENCY PACKAGE This collection of full-color transparency acetates provides the maps, charts, and graphs from the text for use in classroom presentations.

ADMINISTRATIVE HANDBOOK by Jay Boggis provides instructors with resources for using The Western Heritage with Annenberg/CPB telecourse, The Western Tradition. Print Supplements for the Student

STUDY GUIDE, VOLUMES I AND II The study guide includes commentaries, definitions, and a variety of exercises designed to reinforce the concepts in the chapter. These exercises include: identification, map exercises, and short-answer and essay questions.

DOCUMENTS SET, VOLUMES I AND II This carefully selected and edited set of documents provides over 100 additional primary source readings. Each document includes a brief introduction as well as questions to encourage critical analysis of the reading and to relate it to the content of the text.

MAP WORKBOOK This brief workbook gives students the opportunity to increase their knowledge of geography through identification and other map exercises. It is available free to students when shrink-wrapped with the text.

HISTORICAL ATLAS OF THE WORLD This four-color historical atlas provides additional map resources to reinforce concepts in the text. It is available for a nominal fee when shrink-wrapped with the text.

UNDERSTANDING AND ANSWERING ESSAY QUESTIONS Prepared by Mary L. Kelley, San Antonio College. This brief guide suggests helpful study techniques as well as specific analytical tools for understanding different types of essay questions and provides precise guidelines for preparing well-crafted essay answers. This guide is available free to students when shrink-wrapped with the text.

READING CRITICALLY ABOUT HISTORY: A GUIDE TO ACTIVE READING Prepared by Rose Wassman and Lee Ann Rinsky. This guide focuses on the skills needed to learn the essential information presented in college history textbooks. Material covered includes vocabulary skills, recognizing organizational patterns, critical thinking skills, understanding visual aids, and practice sections. This guide is available free to students when shrink-wrapped with the text.

THEMES OF THE TIMES The New York Times and Prentice Hall are sponsoring Themes of the Times, a program designed to enhance student access to current information of relevance in the classroom. Through this program, the core subject matter provided in the text is supplemented by a collection of current articles from one of the world's most distinguished newspapers, The New York Times.

These articles demonstrate the vital, ongoing connection between what is learned in the classroom and what is happening in the world around us. To enjoy the wealth of information of The New York Times daily, a reduced subscription rate is available. For information call toll-free: 1-800-631-1222.

Prentice Hall and The New York Times are proud to cosponsor Themes of the Times. We hope it will make the reading of both textbooks and newspapers a more dynamic, involving process.

TELECOURSE STUDY GUIDE, VOLUMES I AND II, by Jay Boggis correlates The Western Heritage with the Annenberg/CPB telecourse, The Western Tradition. Multimedia Supplements

HISTORY ON THE INTERNET This guide focuses on developing the critical thinking skills necessary to evaluate and use online sources. The guide also provides a brief introduction to navigating the Internet, along with complete references related specifically to the History discipline and how to use the Companion Website™ available for The Western Heritage. This supplementary book is free to students when shrink-wrapped with the text.Features of the website include, for each chapter in the text, objectives, study questions, map labeling exercises, related links, and document exercises. A faculty module provides material from the Instructor's Manual and the maps and charts from the text in PowerPoint™ format.

POWERPOINT™ IMAGES CD ROM Available for Windows and Macintosh environments, this resource includes the maps, charts, and graphs from the text for use in PowerPoint™. Organized by chapters in the text, this collection of images is useful for classroom presentations and lectures.

IRC WESTERN CIVILIZATION CD ROM Available for Windows 95 and 3.1, this lecture and presentation resource includes a library of over 3000 images, each with a descriptive caption, plus film clips, maps, and sound recordings. A correlation guide lists the images as they correspond to the chapters of The Western Heritage. Contact your local Prentice Hall representative for information about the adoption requirements for this resource.

COURSE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS For instructors interested in distance learning, Prentice Hall offers fully customizable, online courses with enhanced content, www links, online testing, and many other course management features using the best available course management systems available, including WebCT, Blackboard, and ecollege online course architecture. Contact your local Prentice Hall representative or visit our special Demonstration Central Website at prenhall/demo for more information.

From the Back Cover

The site is a comprehensive resource that is organized according to the chapters within the text and features a variety of learning and teaching modules:


  • Study Guide Modules contain multiple choice and true/false quizzes, map exercises, and other features designed to help students with self-study.
  • Reference Modules contain Web Destinations and Net Search options that provide the opportunity to quickly reach information on the Web that relates to the content in the text.
  • Communication Modules include tools such as Live Chat and Message Boards to facilitate online collaboration and communication.
  • Personalization Modules include our enhanced Help feature that contains a text page for browsers and plug-ins.


  • The Syllabus Manager™ tool provides an easy-to-follow process for creating, posting, and revising a syllabus online that is accessible from any point within the Companion Website™.
  • A Faculty Module give faculty the ability to download art from the book for creating Powerpoint™ slides in addition to lecture notes and strategies for teaching Western Civilization.
  • The Companion Website™ makes integrating the Internet into your course exciting and easy. Join us online at the address above and enter a new world of teaching and learning.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1150 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 7th edition (July 6, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0130277193
  • ISBN-13: 978-0130277190
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 8.6 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,426,513 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By spucky on September 17, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I took AP Euro as a Sophmore. This book was a major factor in me getting a 5 on the test. Its dull a times but with the right teacher this book will do you woneders on the AP test in May. Im takin AP Us now and my book is anecdotal and written in a narrative style. thus its almost impossible to take notes in. This book separated into chapters, some of which pertain to social themes of that particular time, otheres to political and economic. In short if you are looking to get 3 or above on the AP Euro test, this is the book for you.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By ERH on January 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I have used this text for six years with my AP Euro students and they have done well. It has just the right amount of social history, political, economic, etc... to prepare a student for the AP Exam. Students generally like Kagan's writing style, but we do joke about his occasional use of archaic or obscure words. However, that seems to generate interest. Another good feature of this text is the excellent accompanying website.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By K. Hair on January 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I am in the process of takng AP European History. I am a junior in high school. I love this book. It is deeply informative, and although some sections are a little wordy, it is an excellant resource. With plenty of source documents, pictures, and even information about diets, this book does an excellant job of giving you a complete look into the past. I'm hoping and praying I'll pass the AP test!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By i <3 euro on August 17, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Although the text tends to skip around in regards to dates (one paragraph is on the 1300s, then the next section is back to the 1200s) it is overall a good tool for the European history scholar.
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Matt Jones on December 9, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This is the easiest to understand and has the greatest amount of information. It helped me get a four on the AP european history test and helped many of my friends get fives. After using this, all other history books seem to be unorganized and useless. Kagan is a genius, just like Mr. Nitz
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rpatz on September 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This product was so cheap, I bought it for one cent plus shipping, to a total of about 4$! I was expecting some wear and tear, but to my surprise when I received the product(about nine days after I ordered it) it was flawless!
The cover was intact, the pages were pristine, no marks or anything! Completely fresh and all for me! I really love the expediency of this company for shipping their books and the condition!
I highly recommend them and this product!
while the book is some years old, the content is so specific and goes into great detail, it's better than a 2010 edition that I was assigned in class, which was just too generalised and vague. I'm taking an AP European History course and this has greatly helped me, the wording of passages isn't too labourious to read, nor is it boring. It reads pretty well for a textbook and is highly informative!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Hudson on September 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover
When I started reading this book (my son was struggling with his AP European history course) I felt like I was reading under water without glasses.

Since I received a 5 on AP European history in the dark ages of AP courses, have a doctorate, have taught in middle school and am currently doing post-graduate work in ancient historical documents, I thought a European History AP course book ought to be pretty straightforward.


The description in the review "Need an interpreter as well as the caffeine" is accurate and apt. The authors appear to purposely use lengthy words and expressions when simple ones would communicate more clearly. The writing is pretentious and disjointed. The authors focus on detailed data rather than the significance of the data, or patterns and themes. Themes are there, but get lost in the details, rather than being the focus of thinking (an example from today's homework: p. 325, in a 38 word sentence, "Plotinus, Proclus, Porphyry, and Dionysius the Areopagite" are listed as Neoplatonists, but Neoplatonism is never defined, nor how it relates to the discussion). The density of names and dates is amazing, such that the book reads like a 700 page encyclopedia entry.

On the positive side, there are nice pictures of artwork, maps, and excerpts from documents from the time-periods being discussed.

This book looks like something that would impress people who are purchasing a textbook for a school: Along with the good-looking layout, glancing at individual paragraphs makes you think the writers must know what they're talking about. After all, they have sophisticated vocabulary and the amount of data they include is amazing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 21, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I can't say that I'm a history lover, but this book defintiely kept me interested. (Interested enough that I tested out of my first two semesters of European History!)
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