The Essential Guide to Western Civilization offers a concise overview of European history developed to suit the undergraduate Western Civilization curriculum. Author Nicholas L. Waddy provides an accessible account of major developments in European history in a flexible format. The book will serve as a core text for instructors wishing to build a syllabus including primary sources, articles, and visual materials of their own choosing. Discussion questions and a list of key terms at the end of each chapter will help to guide conversation and assist students in navigating the Western Civilization survey.
"Waddy offers a comprehensive yet accessible text, lucidly written, combining historical interpretation and intriguing facts to engage students. Discussion questions for each chapter serve to focus attention for review, but also serve as invitation to creative and critical reflection by students."
"Waddy grabs the reader’s attention and never relinquishes it. Written in accessible and witty prose, his text provides a succinct comparative analysis of European communities and their Mediterranean forbearers. Cogent insights on the relevance of the past for the present remind one why history is so essential—why it remains at the core of the liberal arts. The Essential Guide to Western Civilization is a tour de force."
Prologue: The Value of European History
Chapter 1: Early Humans and the Dawn of Civilization
Chapter 2: Ancient Greece: Politics and War
Chapter 3: Ancient Greece: Society, Culture, and Daily Life
Chapter 4: Ancient Rome: Politics and War
Chapter 5: Ancient Rome: Society, Culture and Daily Life
Chapter 6: The Middle Ages: Politics and War, 500-1300
Chapter 7: The Middle Ages: Society, Culture and Daily Life
Chapter 8: The Late Middle Ages and the Renaissance
Chapter 9: The Age of Discovery, the Protestant Reformation, and the Wars of Religion, 1492-1648
Chapter 10: Politics, Colonialism, and War, 1648-1789
Chapter 11: European Society during the Scientific, Agricultural, and Industrial Revolutions, 1600-1800
Chapter 12: The Enlightenment, the French Revolution, and the Age of Napoleon, 1700-1815
Chapter 13: Challenging the Conservative Order: Liberalism, Nationalism, and Socioeconomic Change, 1815-50
Chapter 14: Middle Class Europe: The Triumph of Liberalism and Nationalism and the Rise of Socialism, 1850-1914
Chapter 15: Industrialization, Imperialism, and Intellectual and Social Change, 1850-1914
Chapter 16: World War I, 1914-18
Chapter 17: Interwar Europe, 1919-39
Chapter 18: World War II, 1939-45
Chapter 19: The Cold War and the End of European Dominance, 1945-present
Epilogue: Europe, the United States, and the World in the 21st Century