World Past to World Present: A Sketch of Global History provides an unusually brief and present-focused treatment of human history beginning with the advent of agriculture and ending with considerable attention to world history developments since World War II.
This accessible and concise text covers a very real but selected history of the human experience. The book emphasizes the importance of contacts and exchanges among different cultures and economies up to contemporary globalization, and consistent attention is devoted to comparisons among major regional societies. The characteristics of agricultural, and later industrial, societies help establish a larger framework within the text. Peter N. Stearns works to connect past developments to contemporary global patterns and problems, explicitly balancing major changes with significant continuities. Key features include:
- A "no-frills" approach to an expansive stretch of human history
- Encourages students to understand the importance of studying history by focusing on aspects of the past that are particularly useful in assessing the current state of the world
- Invites instructors to combine the advantages of systematic summary coverage with varied supplementary reading
- Nine maps illustrate important movements and civilizations throughout the world.
Truly international in coverage, this book has been specifically designed as a core text for Global History survey courses.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction PART I: THE AGRICULTURAL AGE 2. The Nature of Agricultural Society 3. Early Civilizations 4. The Classical Period 5. Religion and Trade: World History from 600-1200 6. The Mongol Period, 1200-1450 7. The Early Modern Period 8. New Empires, new Ideas: Regional Developments in the early modern period PART II: THE INDUSTRIAL AGE 9. The Nature of Industrial Society 10. Global Dynamics: Imperialism and Globalization before 1914 11. Regional patterns and comparisons in the "long" 19th century 12. A Troubled Transition: Global Developments, 1914-1945 13. A More Global World, 1945-2000 14. How Regions Responded, 1945-2000 15. The 21st Century: Legacies and New Questions
Peter N. Stearns is University Professor of History at George Mason University, USA. He has taught a freshman world history course every year for over three decades; he also helped introduce the Advanced Placement world history program. Stearns has written widely on a variety of topics in the field, most recently including books on time and on happiness in world history.