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World History in Brief: Major Patterns of Change and Continuity : To 1450 Paperback – August 1, 1998

ISBN-13: 978-0321002211 ISBN-10: 0321002210 Edition: 3rd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Longman Pub Group; 3 edition (August 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321002210
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321002211
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.3 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,072,993 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

With a brief, global approach, this book explores world history to 1450, showing how different civilizations developed in a global context and then encountered the various forces of contemporary life. This book presents the big picture of world history, highlighting the major developments in the world's history to 1450 and presenting the global interactions of major civilizations. For anyone interested in world history to 1450. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Peter N. Stearns is Provost and Professor of History at George Mason University. He has taught previously at Harvard, the University of Chicago, Rutgers, and Carnegie Mellon; he was educated at Harvard University. He has published widely in modern social history, including the history of emotions, and in world history. Representative works in world history include World History: A Survey, The Industrial Revolution in World History, Gender in World History, Consumerism in

World History, and Growing Up: The History of Childhood in Global Context. His publications in social history include Old Age in Preindustrial Society, Anxious Parents: A History of Modern American Childrearing, American Cool: Developing the Twentieth-Century Emotional Style, Fat History: Bodies and Beauty in Western Society, American Fear: The Causes and Consequences of High Anxiety, Revolutions in Sorrow: A History of American Experiences and Policies Toward Death in Global Context, From Alienation to Addiction: Modern American Work in Global Historical Perspective, and Educating Global Citizens in Colleges and Universities: Challenges and Opportunities. While under Dr. Stearns’s leadership, George Mason University was awarded the 2006 Andrew Heiskell Award for Innovation in International Education. He has also edited encyclopedias of world and social history, and since 1967 has served as editor-in-chief of The Journal of Social History.

 

In most of his research and writing, Dr. Stearns pursues three main goals. As a social historian he is eager to explore aspects of the human experience that are not generally thought of in historical terms, and with attention to ordinary people as well as elites. Second, he seeks to use an understanding of historical change and continuity to explore patterns of behavior and social issues. Finally he is concerned with connecting new historical research with wider audiences, including of course classrooms. Dr. Stearns is also eager to promote comparative analysis and the assessment of modern global forces–for their own sake and as they illuminate the American experience and impact.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By "lady-abigail" on January 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
I recently decided to return to college after being away for nearly 20 years raising a family. This text was one of my first courses and I found it easy to understand, well laid-out, and concise. Generally speaking, it dealt with issues thoroughly, though I would have liked to have seen more coverage on gender issues through the ages. Early civilization was primarily patriarchal, yet women played an intricate part in the development of society through the ages. I think any student interested in learning about the origins of civilization would benefit greatly by using this text. The chapters covered topics well, but weren't excessively lengthy. The companion document book worked well with this text, preventing any confusion as to the time table involved. This book should be included as a reference or required reading for any history major. Mr. Stearns did a wonderful job covering a large span of time in simple terms and in few pages. Having a wonderful professor, along with easy-to-understand text, influenced me to add history as one of my majors--along with my major of English. I only hope my second semester in history goes as well as my first!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Lloyd Sakazaki on June 5, 2009
Format: Paperback
Peter Stearns' World History in Brief provides an unbiased conceptual framework for understanding the relationships among human civilizations and evolution of culture over the past two or three millennia. The well-organized chronological tour of history explains how "Five early traditions--in the Middle East . . ., Mediterranean . . ., India, China, and Central America--ultimately were replaced by seven major patterns of government, society, and culture . . . in . . . East Asia; India and Southeast Asia; the Middle East; Eastern Europe; sub-Saharan Africa; Western Europe plus North America; and Latin America."

(Incidentally, in collecting race and ethnicity data, the U.S. Census Bureau can likely benefit from expanding and redefining its current categorization (white, Hispanic, African American, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American) to take into account the cultural diversity of the seven major streams of modern civilization. At the expense of increasing the number of categories from six to ten--accomplished by dividing "white" into Western European, Eastern European, and Middle Eastern; splitting "Asian" into East Asian, Indian, and Southeast Asian; and retaining the other four existing categories--this would achieve an ethnic classification that more closely parallels global cultural diversity and, therefore, should prove to be more useful in socioeconomic analysis and formulation of public policy.)

Since the author's focus is on the dynamics and interrelationships among civilizations that have carried us into the 21st century, the discussion of earlier history is limited to what is most relevant to explaining our modern world, as evidenced by the greater number of pages of text (in the 3rd edition) devoted to more recent time periods:

I.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By E. G. Buchanan on February 10, 2008
Format: Paperback
Studying World History can be a chore for many students including myself. As the title discloses...it is "Brief". Each civilization and topic is addressed with just the right amount of information, along with timelines, debate topics, as well as additional suggested readings and websites, if students want to dig deeper into the past. The cost is much more reasonable than a lot of college course books; so, if your course requires this text, it won't break the bank or put you to sleep in the first chapter!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Feline Staff on March 29, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I hate this world history textbook. It was written to impress, not inform the student. Organized by grand themes - e.g., settler societies - or geographic areas - e.g., the Far East - each chapter may span several centuries and the reader is lost, with no sense of time or what was happening in other parts of the world meanwhile. Very difficult to keep the chronology straight. Also the author uses a closed punctuation style with way too many commas and very long, elegant sentences with lots of disclaimers that are hard to comprehend. Somebody should rewrite the same material in short, declarative sentences with subheadings and bullet points to help the poor student who has to learn history from this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By School on June 14, 2008
Format: Paperback
World History is an exceptionally difficult subject to teach and to learn not least because the events it covers are so complex and diverse. This book does an excellent job in making a complex subject accessible. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was my required text book for a course I am taking on the origins of world civilisations. As the book is extremely expensive to purchase brand new, I opted for a cheap second-hand copy. Thankfully it arrived well before even the estimated date, so that I didn't miss too many weeks of study. It is very scholarly and comprehensive, covering civilisations from those of Greece and Rome to the ancient cities and dynasties of China and India. I would well recommend purchasing it second-hand, since I don't see the value in spending over a hundred dollars for one book. The shipping costs were rather heavy, so I am glad the book itself cost me less than a dollar.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Meredith P. Cardall on October 24, 2008
Format: Paperback
I am not a history buff! I bought this book for a college history class. I have been dreading this class just because of the reading. Surprisingly, this book isn't too bad! It is very well organized and just seems to flow and make sense. My only complaint is that the entire book is in black & white. Absolutely none of the artwork inside of the book is in color. Although, that does help cut down on the cost of the book, which is very much appreciated!
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