The West and the World: A History of Civilization, Vol. I: From the Ancient World to 1700

The West and the World engages students and provokes discussion by presenting the past through the prism of current and perennial issues. Interpretive chapters on such topics as gender, religion, war, ecology, and nationalism create both thematic narratives and the strands of a larger chronological account. The book makes great ideas accessible, explores major historical turning points, and reveals the dynamic of increasing global interactions (trade, migrations, etc.). It also compares cultures and civilizations while giving voice to individual lives.

This first volume explores perennial issues. Gender relations are examined across the neolithic and urban revolutions. Issues of class, civility, and citizenship come to life in a history of Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Chinese, and Muslim cities. Ideas of love and sex are compared in European, Japanese and Indian history. The social dislocations of empire are compared in Rome and China. The Crusades are viewed through Muslim as well as Christian sources. In addition, the seventeenth-century scientific revolution is compared to science in China and the Muslim world.

This volume may be purchased separately or together with its companion volume, The West and the World: A History of Ancient Civilization, Vol. II: From 1400 to the Present.

Kevin Reilly (Raritan Valley Community College) is co-founder and first president of the World History Association. He is editor of several books and book series, including Readings in World Civilization. He has taught at Columbia, Rutgers, and Princeton University.