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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $86.00
  • January 2011
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-93482-3
  • 491 pages
  • Volume(s): 1
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide

Western Civilizations

Their History & Their Culture

Seventeenth Edition


Volume(s): 1

Judith Coffin (Author, University of Texas at Austin), Robert Stacey (Author, University of Washington), Joshua Cole (Author, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor), Carol Symes (Author, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)


A pedagogically innovative new edition of the most-balanced and best-selling western civilizations text of all time.

New to the Western Civilizations team, master teachers and scholars Joshua Cole (University of Michigan) and Carol Symes (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign) have integrated innovative pedagogical tools into the text to help students and instructors achieve their course objectives, while incorporating the latest scholarship into this highly readable, balanced, and beautifully written book.


A clear, engaging narrative

The chapter introductions start with a hook or story that captures the larger themes of the chapter. The authors use a story-telling approach throughout each chapter, emphasizing the importance of continuity and change. 

Innovative pedagogical features

Inspired by Cole’s and Symes’s own teaching experiences, the new pedagogical features are designed to help students develop critical-thinking skills and master the core content.

• New “Before You Read This Chapter” pedagogy gets students primed for what they need to look for when reading the chapter.

• New “After You Read This Chapter” pedagogy makes sure that students understand what they have read and that they have mastered the core content.

Maps and Primary Sources

Students need to learn how to analyze primary sources and develop good map skills. Western Civilizations gives them ample opportunity to do both.

New primary-source features, “Interpreting Visual Evidence” and “Competing Viewpoints,” teach students how to analyze both textual and visual sources and help them understand that history is open to interpretation.

A new map program with guiding questions encourages students to develop basic map skills and to understand the relationship between history and geography.

A new illustration program includes enhanced photo captions that ask students to think critically about the relationship between an illustration and what they have read in the main narrative.

Well-balanced with the right level of detail

The narrative in Western Civilizations has been strategically tightened to heighten the chapter themes and make the text accessible to a wider range of students.

A balance between contemporary research and the central narrative that students need. Joshua Cole and Carol Symes both teach the Western Civilizations course each year and know what works in the classroom, as well as the latest developments in the field.

A balance of classic topics with more global coverage. The new edition expands its geographic and cultural contexts to include the wider Mediterranean World, Islam and Byzantium, Eastern Europe, and the vast hybrid cultures that resulted from Western encounters in Asia, Africa, and the Americas after 1492.

A robust student website enhances and reinforces the text and course objectives

The Western Civilizations electronic media package offers students the tools they need for research and review, including:

• nearly 350 online documents (100 new), each with a media-analysis worksheet
• author-insight video and podcasts by our new author team, Joshua Cole and Carol Symes
• Western Civilizations History Tours, powered by Google Maps
• interactive maps and map worksheets
• focus questions, chapter quizzes, flashcards, chapter outlines, summaries, and more

    Volume 1: Chapters 1-15

    Volume 2: Chapters 11-29

    Volume A: Chapters 1-12

    Volume B: Chapters 10-19

    Volume C: Chapters 18-29

    Chapter 1:  Early Civilizations

    Chapter 2:  Peoples, Gods, And Empires: 1700–500 B.C.E.

    Chapter 3:  The Civilization Of Greece, 1000–400 B.C.E.

    Chapter 4:  The Greek World Expands, 400–150 B.C.E.  

    Chapter 5:  The Civilization Of Ancient Rome

    Chapter 6:  The Transformation Of Rome

    Chapter 7:  Rome’s Three Heirs, 500–950  

    Chapter 8:  The Expansion Of Europe, 950–1100

    Chapter 9:  The Consolidation Of Europe, 1100–1300  

    Chapter 10:  Crisis, Unrest, and Opportunity, 1300–1500  

    Chapter 11:  Conquest, Commerce, And Colonization, 1300–1600

    Chapter 12:  Renaissance Ideals And Realities, C. 1350–1550

    Chapter 13:  The Age Of Dissent And Division, 1500–1600

    Chapter 14:  Religion, Warfare, and Sovereignty: 1540–1660  

    Chapter 15:  Absolutism And Empire, 1660–1789 

    Chapter 16:  The New Science Of The Seventeenth Century

    Chapter 17:  The Enlightenment

    Chapter 18:  The French Revolution

    Chapter 19:  The Industrial Revolution And Nineteenth-Century Society 

    Chapter 20:  From Restoration To Revolution, 1815–1848

    Chapter 21:  What is a Nation? Territories, States, And Citizens, 1848–1871 

    Chapter 22:  Imperialism And Colonialism, 1870–1914

    Chapter 23:  Modern Industry And Mass Politics, 1870–1914 

    Chapter 24:  The First World War 

    Chapter 25:  Turmoil Between The Wars

    Chapter 26:  The Second World War

    Chapter 27:  The Cold War World: Global Politics, Economic Recovery, And Cultural Change

    Chapter 28:  Red Flags And Velvet Revolutions: The End Of The Cold War, 1960–1990

    Chapter 29:  A World Without Walls: Globalization And The West