Worlds Together, Worlds Apart: A History of the World: From the Beginnings of Humankind to the Present (Third Edition)
Worlds Together, Worlds Apart has set the standard for two editions for those instructors who want to teach a globally integrated world history survey course. Just as the dynamic field of world history evolves, so has Worlds Together, Worlds Apart with each edition. With the Third Edition, Worlds Together, Worlds Apart continues to offer a highly coherent, cutting-edge survey of the field, while becoming more streamlined and accessible for a wider range of students. The Third Edition offers a number of improvements over the first two. First, the chapters are shorter. We cut the narrative by 50,000 words, reducing its length by nearly 20 percent. We shrank the text to highlight even more clearly the distinctive world history stories and themes that each chapter is built around. Readers should be in little doubt now about what truly counted globally in each of the time periods that the chapters cover. The new edition should also be a good page turner for students for while we reduced the length of the book to just over 840 pages, we did not dramatically cut back on the map, illustration, and primary-source programs. By shortening the text, we also wanted to allow instructors to make greater use of outside reading materials, especially primarysources, which are so vital to understanding the life and thought of people living in different time periods and locations. Second, pedagogically, we have re written the chapter introductions to emphasize the themes even more strongly. We have also added a new pedagogy feature called “Storylines,” which is designed to provide the reader with a snapshot of the main chapter themes and show how they relate to each major region of the world. We also went through all the pedagogical features with great care to make sure that the prose and questions were pitched at a good level for a wide range of students. Third, we are pleased to announce the publication of Worlds Together, Worlds Apart: A Companion Reader. Long-time users of the book have been asking for a primary-source reader designed to accompany Worlds Together, Worlds Apart since its First Edition. The companion reader has been carefully assembled by Ken Pomeranz, Laura Mitchell, and James Given, all of whom teach the world history survey course at the University of California, Irvine, and all of whom have been teaching with Worlds Together, Worlds Apart for many years. The companion reader contains nearly 150 primary sources (both visual and textual) and will greatly enhance an instructor’s ability to teach students how to analyze primary sources, while building off the key themes and topics of Worlds Together, Worlds Apart. Finally, Norton StudySpace offers an exciting new feature called World History Tours powered by Google Maps. These digitally based tours trace global developments over time, touching down on locations to launch documents and images for analysis. For example, the Silk Road tour follows the bubonic plague from its eastern origins to Europe, chronicling this movement through journals and images from the Muslim world, Italy, and England.
Since work began on Worlds Together, Worlds Apart, world history has gained even more prominence in college classrooms and historical studies. Courses in the history of the world now abound, often replacing the standard surveys of European history and western civilization overviews. Graduate history students receive training in world history, and journals routinely publish studies in this field. A new generation of textbooks was needed to help students and instructors make sense of this vast, complex, and rapidly evolving field.
We believe that Worlds Together, Worlds Apart remains the most cutting-edge, engaging, readable, and useful text available for all students of world history. We also believe that this text, one that has advanced the teaching of this field, could have only grown out of the highly collaborative effort of a team of scholars and teachers rather than the more typical single- or two-author efforts. Indeed, the idea to build each chapter around stories of world history significance and the execution of this model grew out of our monthly team meetings and our joint writing efforts during the development stage. As a team-driven text, Worlds Together, Worlds Apart also has the advantage of area experts to make sure the material is presented accurately, which is always a challenge for the single- or two- author texts, especially in world history.
Finally, our book also reads with a single voice due to the extraordinary efforts of our general editor, and leader, Robert Tignor, who with every edition makes the final major sweep through the text to make sure that the voice, style, and level of detail are consistent throughout. Building on these distinctive strengths, we have worked hard and thoughtfully to make the Third Edition of Worlds Together, Worlds Apart the best one so far. While there are many exciting additions to the main text and support package, we have made every effort to remain true to our original vision.
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