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Hakim Solovyov
Hakim Solovyov

Learn World History from the Beginnings to 1500 CE with Ways of the World, Volume 1

Ways of the World: A Brief Global History with Sources, Volume 1 by Robert W. Strayer and Eric W. Nelson

World history is a fascinating and complex subject that explores how human societies have evolved over time and space. It is also a relevant and important subject that helps us understand our present world and its challenges. But how can we learn world history effectively and enjoyably? One possible answer is to read Ways of the World, a popular and innovative textbook for world history written by Robert W. Strayer and Eric W. Nelson.

Ways of the World: A Brief Global History with Sources, Volume 1 Robert W. Strayer 3

In this article, we will introduce you to this book and its authors. We will also discuss what world history is and why it matters. Then we will summarize how Ways of the World approaches world history and what benefits you can get from reading it. Finally, we will give you a brief overview of what topics are covered in Ways of the World, Volume 1.

What is World History and Why Does It Matter?

World history is a field of historical study that examines human history from a global perspective. It focuses on how different regions and peoples have interacted with each other across time and space. It also considers how human societies have been shaped by various factors such as geography, environment, culture, religion, politics, economy, technology, and ideas.

World history matters because it helps us understand ourselves and others better. It shows us how we are connected to other people and places in the past and present. It also helps us appreciate the diversity and complexity of human experiences and cultures. Moreover, world history helps us develop critical thinking and analytical skills that are essential for living in a rapidly changing and interconnected world.

How Does Ways of the World Approach World History?

Ways of the World is one of the most successful and innovative textbooks for world history. It is designed to engage students with a brief, clear, and accessible narrative that focuses on significant historical developments and broad themes in world history. It also provides students with an insightful, big picture synthesis that helps them discern what matters most in world history: patterns and variations on both global and regional levels and continuity and change over time.

Some of the main features and themes of Ways of the World are:

  • The Four Cs: This is a framework that guides students to think about world history in terms of context, comparison, connection, and change. Context refers to the specific circumstances and background of a historical event or phenomenon. Comparison refers to the similarities and differences among different regions or societies. Connection refers to the interactions and influences among different regions or societies. Change refers to the causes and consequences of historical transformations.

  • Big Picture Questions: These are questions that introduce each chapter and section of the book. They help students focus on the main ideas and themes of world history. They also encourage students to think critically and creatively about historical issues and problems.

  • Thinking through Sources: These are primary source documents that are carefully selected and paired with questions that help students analyze historical evidence and make historical arguments. They also help students develop historical empathy and perspective-taking skills.

  • Regional Perspectives: These are sections that highlight the distinctive features and contributions of each major region of the world, such as Africa, Asia, Europe, the Americas, and Oceania. They help students appreciate the diversity and complexity of world history.

What are the Benefits of Reading Ways of the World?

Reading Ways of the World can help you achieve many learning outcomes and skills that are valuable for your academic success and personal growth. Some of these benefits are:

  • You will gain a comprehensive and balanced understanding of world history from the beginnings to 1500 CE.

  • You will learn how to compare and contrast different regions and societies in world history.

  • You will learn how to identify and explain the causes and effects of historical events and processes.

  • You will learn how to evaluate and interpret primary and secondary sources of historical information.

  • You will learn how to communicate effectively and persuasively using historical evidence and arguments.

  • You will develop a global awareness and appreciation for human diversity and cultural heritage.

What are the Main Topics Covered in Ways of the World, Volume 1?

Ways of the World, Volume 1 covers world history from the beginnings to 1500 CE. It is divided into three chapters, each focusing on a major era or wave of world history. Each chapter is further divided into sections that explore specific topics or regions within each era. Here is a brief overview of the contents and structure of Ways of the World, Volume 1:

Beginnings in History (to 600 BCE)

This chapter explores the origins and diversity of human societies in the Paleolithic era (before 10,000 BCE) and the emergence of agriculture and civilization in the Neolithic era (after 10,000 BCE). Some of the topics covered in this chapter are:

  • The evolution of Homo sapiens and their migration out of Africa.

  • The development of hunting-gathering societies and their adaptation to different environments.

  • The invention of agriculture and its impact on human societies.

  • The rise of civilization in Mesopotamia, Egypt, India, China, Mesoamerica, Andean South America, Oceania, Sub-Saharan Africa, Anatolia, Greece, Persia, Israel, Phoenicia, Nubia, Olmec, Chavín, Lapita, Bantu, Nok, Jenne-Jeno, etc.

The Big Picture: Patterns in Early Societies