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