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61 Reviews
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62 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating! Comprehensive!
I purchased my first copy of this text several years from a college bookstore, not for a class, but because I picked it up, began browsing, and couldn't bear to put it down. Although textbooks are not usually written for pleasure reading, I've found Spielvogel's book to be truly well-written and efficiently designed. Maps, chronologies (timelines), and numerous...
Published on June 2, 2005 by Janice Campbell

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Not satisfactory.
The comment about the book said it was good-used but it arrived with a bent cover and pages and highlighter marks on a lot of the pages.
Published 11 months ago by christine


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62 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating! Comprehensive!, June 2, 2005
I purchased my first copy of this text several years from a college bookstore, not for a class, but because I picked it up, began browsing, and couldn't bear to put it down. Although textbooks are not usually written for pleasure reading, I've found Spielvogel's book to be truly well-written and efficiently designed. Maps, chronologies (timelines), and numerous illustrations and sidebars make the text inviting and accessible.

One of my favorite features is the inclusion of excerpts from original source documents. It's fascinating to read the writings of a medieval merchant of Paris on the subject of marriage, or excerpts from the court record of the trial of Joan of Arc. It provides a vivid, memorable glimpse of life in a different place and time.

I used this textbook to prepare for the Western Civilization CLEP, and I passed with no difficulty at all, earning 6 credits toward my bachelor's degree. Western Civ is a huge topic, and Dr. Spielvogel has done a terrific job of making it not only accessible, but enjoyable. I recommend this book!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Survey History of Western Civilization., February 8, 2000
Professor Emeritus Spielvogel has a unique teaching style that makes history interesting and captivating. This style is mirrored in this book. The text is enhanced by many diagrams, maps and charts. An annotated suggested reading list at the end of each chapter provides its readers with a strong base from which one can begin further research. "Western Civilization" is a very flexible book; it can be used on either the High School or College level and can easily be divided into different themes. If your purposes lead you to non-western areas of history, then try Spielvogel's "World History", co-author by Professor Emeritus William J. Duiker.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spielvogel Rocks!, December 16, 2000
By A Customer
I have 3rd edition set, and took Western Civ II with Dr. Spielvogel at Penn State. His teaching and his book are by far the best history instruction (or any instruction) I've ever had. A brilliant educator and writer, this text is definately the one you want for any course on Western Civ. Spielvogel includes "Day in the Life" sidebars, as well as the opposing point of view (e.g. the Crusaders in Muslim Eyes, an account of a Muslim's viewpoint).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Book, September 27, 2008
This was a great buy. I don't know if it was the wording or what it is but, I find this book really easy to understand and retain information.
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Western Civilization, March 27, 2002
By 
Hugh Roth (Merrick, NY United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Book is well designed; choice of content is good. Historical selections are given a tan background which is dark enough to make the text more difficult to read than it might be. This also could be 'old' eyes. Book seems well copy-edited for textual errors. The long lists of primary and secondary sources seems to be a 'feature' of history texts these days. Rather intimidating, particularly for the beginning history student. A shorter list might be more helpful and appropriate. Problems:
If you cannot pronounce a word, you cannot learn it. Some of this may be due to my 'studying at home', but even the student who attends a regular class will be left at a loss on how to pronounce many, many words. More help is needed.
The ancilliary materials, Map Workbook and Original Document Workbook, are not up to the level of the main text. The Map Workbook uses muddy, black and white versions of the colored text maps, and answer some of their own questions, while some of the cities which the student is asked to identify are 'off the map'. The Original Document workbook is a joke. Few selections, 18pt type, lots of white space, typos, layout poor at times. Junk.
There are numerous instances in the main text of clumsy English. One example will have to do:
P.160 "Although the cultural and social developments of the Early Empire were similar to those of the last century of the Republic, there were also significant changes as a result of the new imperial order."
Are they similar or are they different? 'Developments' is the wrong word. 'Also' is a junk word. 'There were significant changes' is weak (intransitive). Better:
"Although some cultural and social features of the Early Empire were similar to those of the last century of the Republic, the new imperial order brought significant changes." Good transition sentence. -17% word count from original.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing story, March 28, 2010
By 
Sappho (Portland, OR USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Western Civilization: Volume I: To 1715 (Western Civilization to 1715) (Paperback)
This book has made history my favorite subject among all my classes. It's always the work that I get done first because I know that working through the material will be so pleasurable that I'll do it quickly. I'm very fortunate that my history teacher chose this as our textbook.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Western Civ Book, January 5, 2000
By A Customer
This is the best book for Western Civ Study. It is ideal for AP European History classes as well as College Western Civ classes. I highly recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great History Book, March 29, 2007
Western Civilization: Required text for a Central Texas College course. Book is small text and takes some time to read, but the author does an interesting job of presenting the information. I am now in the second week of class and have only read the first 3 chapters, but was worth the purchase.

Recommendation: Worth buying if you'd like a good introduction to Western Civilization.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars West.Civ. Textbook, January 11, 2002
By 
The text is easy to read and the book has just the right amount of pictures co-ordinating with the subject matter. A perfect book to study from. On the down side, the book is a very thick and heavy book, but history is massive.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WONDERFUL TEXTBOOK!, January 20, 2003
By 
Bebina40 "bebina40" (san diego ca United States) - See all my reviews
I READ THIS BOOK FOR WESTERN CIV I & II AND I LOVED IT! NOT TO MENTION THAT I RECEIVED AN A ON BOTH TESTS. EVEN IF YOU DON'T HAVE TO READ IT FOR COLLEGE, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK. IT IS SUCH A TREAT TO READ AND I BELIEVE IT BELONGS IN EVERY HOME. EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW WHERE THE CRADLE OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION BEGAN, AND HOW THE PEOPLE LIVED AND PROGRESSED THROUGHOUT THE AGES. I CAN'T WAIT TO SHARE THIS BOOK WITH MY CHILDREN SOMEDAY. HAPPY READING!
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Western Civilization: Volume I: To 1715 (Western Civilization to 1715)
Western Civilization: Volume I: To 1715 (Western Civilization to 1715) by Jackson J. Spielvogel (Paperback - January 11, 2008)
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