1st Edition

The Essential Guide to Western Civilization

ISBN 9781138710313
Published December 1, 2017 by Routledge
422 Pages

USD $48.95

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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents

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

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Nicholas L. Waddy is Associate Professor of History at Alfred State College in Alfred, New York.


"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."

  • Robert F. Goeckel, Professor of Political Science and International Relations, SUNY College at Geneseo

"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."

  • W. Brian Newsome, Professor of History, Elizabethtown College