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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $72.00
  • September 2011
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-93487-8
  • 8.6 × 10.9 in / 832 pages
  • Volume(s): One-Volume / Chapters 1-29
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide

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Brief Third Edition


Volume(s): One-Volume / Chapters 1-29

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


The best western civilizations text for emphasizing critical thinking, now in a brief edition.

Master teachers and scholars, new co-authors Joshua Cole and Carol Symes integrate new and innovative pedagogical tools based on their own teaching experiences into this best-selling brief text to help students think critically, retain key information, and make connections.


Clear and engaging narrative

For the author team, clear and engaging narrative is the best form of pedagogy. Many of the chapter introductions start with a hook or story that captures the larger themes of the chapter, and each chapter has a strong narrative, story-telling, approach. Within the narrative approach, the authors highlight chapter themes in the introduction and throughout in order to emphasize the importance of continuity and change for students.

Innovative pedagogy emphasizes critical thinking

Co-authors Cole and Symes designed an innovative pedagogical program based on their award-winning teaching experiences. Both teachers regularly experiment with new ways to make history engaging for students, and create tools to empower students to be effective learners. The pedagogy in Western Civilizations, Brief Third Edition, helps students think critically, retain key information, and make connections over time.

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Streamlined and coherent

The text has been reduced by 25 percent from its parent edition in order to maintain a more coherent narrative and to avoid the choppiness of other brief books. The pedagogical features from the parent text were not only retained in the brief edition, but also used as a guide to reducing the narrative, ensuring that each chapter consistently highlighted its main themes, major concepts, and vital information.

Outstanding Value

Western Civilizations, Third Brief Edition, is the best value in the market. It is the least expensive brief book on the market, but offers an elegantly written and handsomely illustrated text with an innovative pedagogy program. Resources and tools for students are free and open, and a full suite of ancillaries are available for instructors.

    Volume 1:  Chapters 115 (Age of Absolutism)

    Volume 2:  Chapters 1129 (Begins with the Age of Encounter)


    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       Commerce, Conquest, 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, 1960s–1990s

    Chapter 29       A World without Walls: Globalization and the West