In an age when so many people only look forward, THE WESTERN EXPERIENCE combines new and traditional approaches to the past that, combined with an interpretive approach, challenge, stimulate, and engage students. The approach of the authors is appealing to those who want students to come away from their course with more than a grasp of the “facts”, but instead wish students to analyze assumptions and use critical thinking skills. To further this goal, the authors not only see their book as a collection of interpretive essays that can serve as an example of historical writing, but they show and exemplify how historians struggle and deal with the past, for instance by discussing various controversies in history such as the Black Athena question.
In addition, while the text presents a chronological survey of the history of Western Civilization, the narrative weaves several recurring themes that are strengthened and highlighted in new ways in this edition. The themes of social structure, the body politic, organization of production and the impact of technology, evolution of the family and changing gender roles, war, religion and cultural expression are laid out at the beginning of each chapter in the form of a color coded grid that the student and instructor will find easy to follow through the narrative.
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Mortimer Chambers is a Professor of History at the University of California at Los Angeles. He was a Rhodes scholar from 1949 to 1952 and received an M.A. from Wadham College, Oxford, in 1955 after obtaining his doctorate from Harvard University in 1954. He has taught at Harvard University (1954-1955) and the University of Chicago (1955-1958). He was visiting Professor at the University of British Columbia in 1958, the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1971, The University of Freiburg (Germany) in 1974 and Vassar College in 1988. A specialist in Greek and Roman history, he is a co-author of Aristotle’s History of Athenian Democracy (1962), editor of a series of essays entitled The Fall of Rome (1963), and author of Georg Busolt: His Career in His Letters (1990) and of Staat der Athener, a German translation and commentary to Aristotle’s Constitution of the Athenians (1990). He has edited Greek texts of the latter work (1986) and of the Hellenica Oxyrhynchia (1993). He has contributed articles to the American Historical Review and Classical Philology as well as other journals, both in America and in Europe.
Barbara Hanawalt is a professor of history at the University of Minnesota and the author of numerous books and articles on the social and cultural history of The Middle Ages. Her publications include Of Good and Ill Repute: Gender and Social Control in Medieval England (1998), Growing Up in Medieval London: The Experience of Childhood in History (1993), The Ties That Bound: Peasant Life in Medieval England (1986), and Crime and Conflict in English Communities, 1300-1348 (1979). She received her M. A. in 1964 and her Ph.D. in 1970 from the University of Michigan. She has served as president of the Social Science History Association and has been on the Council of the American Historical Association and the Medieval Academy of America. As Director of the Center for Medieval Studies at the University of Minnesota (1990-1997) she edited five volumes on the intersection of history and literature. She was an NEH Fellow (1997-98, a Fellow of the Guggenheim Foundation (1988-1989), an ACLS Fellow (1975-1976), and a fellow at the National Humanities Center (1997-1998), a Fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin (1990-1991), a member of the School of Historical Research at the Institute for Advanced Study (l982-1983), and senior research fellow at the Newberry Library (1979-1980).
Theodore K. Rabb is Professor of History at Princeton University. He received his Ph.D. from Princeton, and subsequently taught as Stanford, Northwestern, Harvard, and Johns Hopkins universities. He is the author of numerous articles and reviews, and has been editor of The Journal of Interdisciplinary History since its foundation. Among his books are The Struggle for Stability in Early Modern Europe and Renaissance Lives. Professor Rabb has held offices in various national organizations, including the American Historical Association and The National Council for Historical Education. He was the principal historian for the PBS series, Renaissance.
Isser Woloch is Professor of History at Columbia University. He received his Ph.D. (1965) from Princeton University in the field of eighteenth and nineteenth-century European history. He has taught at Indiana University and at the University of California at Los Angeles where, in 1967, he received a Distinguished Teaching Citation. He has been a fellow of the A.C.L.S., the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton. His publications include Jacobin Legacy: The Democratic Movement under the Directory (1970), The Peasantry in the Old Regime: Conditions and Protests (1970), The French Veteran from the Revolution to the Restoration (1979), and Eighteenth-Century Europe: Tradition and Progress, 1715-1789 (1982), and The New Regime: Transformations of the French Civic Order, 1789-1820s (1994).
Raymond Grew is Professor of History at the University of Michigan. He earned both his M.A. (1952) and Ph.D. (1957) from Harvard University in the field of modern European history. He was a Fulbright Fellow to Italy (1954-1955), and Fulbright Traveling Fellow to France (1976, 1990), Guggenheim Fellow (1968-1969), Director of Studies at the Écoles des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris (1976, 1987, 1990), and a Fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities (1979). In 1962 he received the Chester Highby Prize from the American Historical Association, and in 1963 the Italian government awarded him the Unita d’Italia Prize; in 1992 he received the David Pinkney Prize of the Society for French Historical Studies. He is an active member of the A.H.A.; the Society for French Historical Studies; the Society for Italian Historical Studies, of which he has been president; and the Council for European Studies, of which he has twice served as national chair. His books included A Sterner Plan for Italian Unity (1963), edited Crises of Development in Europe and the United States (1978), and with Patrick J. Harrigan, School, State, and Society: The Growth of Elementary Schooling in Nineteenth-Century France (1991); he is also the editor of Comparative Studies in Society and History and its book series. He has also written on global history and is one of the directors of the Global History Group. His articles and reviews have appeared in a number of European and American journals.
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