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Ways of the World, Volume I: To 1500: A Brief Global History First Edition Edition

6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0312452889
ISBN-10: 0312452888
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About the Author

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.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's; First Edition edition (September 3, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312452888
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312452889
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #68,682 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kelsey May Dangelo on January 2, 2010
Format: Paperback
A wonderful, engaging, readable history text of human history from its Paleolithic beginnings to the European discovery of the Americas, detailing agricultural, hunter-gathering, nomadic, civilizations, the rise and fall of empires and other civilizations. Succeeds in brilliant explanation without too much causation or European-centricity. Fantastic text. Grade: A
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Chimonsho on September 10, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is a very serviceable survey for the early eras of world history. Unlike multi-authored texts---e.g. with 4 authors, 6 editions and scant literary merit---Robert Strayer presents a unified perspective in engaging, readable style. The illustrations, maps and supporting material are excellent. While the philosophy is rather liberal, Strayer is well-balanced in presenting a range of views. He is more interested in discerning key developments and patterns of change rather than piling on details (thus "brief history"), but there's enough data to illustrate the major issues. It's also among the most affordable world history surveys. One drawback is the lack of extensive primary source excerpts, but teachers can easily remedy this deficiency with other assignments. A good supplement is E Gilbert & J Reynolds, "Trading Tastes," also reasonably priced compared to most source collections. Strayer's works have quickly become my favorites for world history courses.
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This concise history book gets five stars from me because the world history presented is non-Eurocentric for the most part. This historical world account brings to the fore peoples, customs, and cultures seldom treated seriously in other history books because of an hyper-Eurocentric focus on history presentation. While Euro-centrists may argue that the world revolves around European history, anthropologists have much to flesh out with each new anthropological discovery changing forever the history we knew yesterday and today. This book does just that accounting for anthropological developments that explain humankind's time on Earth without favoritism to the European experience on Earth. Presenting a timeline of global events, the reader can expect to see the unfolding of history in WotW, Vol. I: To 1500. Strayer also gives a dimensional look at history highlighting global events by continent and by social construction. Strayer makes history easy to read and to digest. This book is an excellent primer to world history. I would suggest this book to anyone wanting to learn about world history in a digestible, fair, and concise format.
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