Read more about World History: Cultures, States, and Societies to 1500

World History: Cultures, States, and Societies to 1500

(26 reviews)

Eugene Berger, Lawrenceville, GA

George L. Israel, Macon, GA

Charolette Miller, Macon, GA

Copyright Year: 2016

ISBN 13: 9781940771106

Publisher: University of North Georgia Press

Language: English

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Reviewed by Timothy Fitzgerald, Associate Professor of History, James Madison University on 9/18/22

The text aims to be comprehensive geographically, but such coverage is imbalanced. Following a traditional approach to world history, Western/European content is thicker and more differentiated. For example, all of Africa is examined, if... read more

Reviewed by Yongguang Hu, Associate Professor, James Madison University on 5/12/22

It does a good job of covering major events in European history, but it does not provide an equal amount of information on other parts of the world. For example, it uses four pages to discuss the transitional period from Caesar to Augustus. But... read more

Reviewed by Faith Skiles, Adjunct Instructor, History Department, Virginia Tech on 4/8/22

First, I want to applaud the tremendous effort and work that undoubtedly went in to producing this open access textbook. The scope of history covered is truly comprehensive for an introductory textbook on World History and the authors cover... read more

Reviewed by Charles Young, Associate Professor, Umpqua Community College on 7/19/21

The textbook has a straightforward chronological direction that provides good foundation for what comes next historically across the world stage. It is reasonably comprehensive in covering world cultures, states, and societies beyond the not... read more

Reviewed by Deanna Brandenberger, Instructor of History & Anthropology, Aiken Technical College on 3/5/21

This book is an incredible feat of collaborative materials designed to blanket the dearth of information that encompasses the totality of World History. In truth, I am not sure that a perfect product for this mission is ever entirely possible.... read more

Reviewed by Kelli Nakamura, Associate Professor, Kapiolani Community College on 3/3/21

The textbook is well organized along chronological as well as geographic lines. I appreciate its efforts to comprehensively address issues such as geography, economics, culture, and politics. I like the fact that the chapters begin with a... read more

Reviewed by Jessica Hammerman, Associate Professor, Central Oregon Community College on 1/6/21

I think it is definitely comprehensive in terms of narrative. A few problems; too much detail; not enough focus (beyond geography). Other World History books have sections to take us through different segments of the population I like the citing... read more

Reviewed by Jeannie Harding, Adjunct Professor, James Madison University on 11/21/20

This text covers most of the major civilizations that are emphasized in an ancient world history course, but it omits smaller civilizations like those in ancient Japan, Southeast Asia, and Polynesia. I also felt that it drastically shortchanged... read more

Reviewed by Jennifer Welsh, Term Assistant Professor of History, University of Alaska, Southeast on 11/2/20, updated 12/16/20

This text balances a mix of broadening coverage to include geographical areas which are frequently ignored or discussed only briefly in World History texts (the Byzantine Empire and Central Asia, for example) with a problematic tendency to stuff... read more

Reviewed by Chris Brooks, Instructor in History, Portland Community College on 6/21/20

Most of the chapters are dense with information and do not skip over important events, individuals, or phenomena. There are some peculiar lacunae, however. For example, there are a few offhand references to the Bronze Age, but no detailed... read more

Reviewed by Corinne Kannenberg, Affiliate Faculty, Metropolitan State University of Denver on 5/1/20

I would have liked to see more in-depth discussion of East Asia, Africa, and the Americas. read more

Reviewed by Rick Warner, Associate Professor, Wabash College on 8/14/19

The book approaches the subject of world history along the "regional tour" model, which is quite old fashioned for our day. Recent texts are more thematic and comparative in nature. The strong suit is that the more frequently mentioned topics in... read more

Reviewed by Justin Vance, Adjunct Faculty, Boise State University on 1/11/19

Leaves out Southeast Asia which is unusual for a World History textbook. Also leaves out Oceania/Pacific Islands which unfortunately is common of World History texts. read more

Reviewed by Suresh Sethuraman, Adjunct Professor, University of Mary Washington on 5/21/18

The book covers a very wide canvas in terms of time and space (World History upto 1500) , yet, it is fairly comprehensive and incorporates all the major regions, events and socio-cultural developments. The book does not have an Index or Glossary.... read more

Reviewed by William Burns, Adjunct, University of Mary Washington on 5/21/18

As a world history textbook, this book is ludicrously Eurocentric and frankly unacceptable. Chapter 2, 5, 6, 7 and 12 are devoted to Mediterranean/European civilization while China, India and the Islamic world get one chapter apiece. (The... read more

Reviewed by Frederic Krome, Professor of History, University of Cincinnati Clermont College on 3/27/18

The book does a nice job of covering the broad meta-themes of World History--for example the Agricultural Revolution, the Origins and spread of world religions such as Christianity and Islam. As with any textbook you can have quibbles about... read more

Reviewed by Martin Johnson, Associate Professor of History, Miami University (Ohio) on 2/1/18

Overall, this text provides a brief but solid account that can be a useful foundation for a world history course. Its strengths and weaknesses are similar to any text in world history, in which choices as to structure, coverage, and emphasis are... read more

Reviewed by J.M. Bates, Assistant Professor , Winona State University on 2/1/18

This is reasonably comprehensive in covering ideas of the subject. However, as it stands, the book provides an uneven coverage of the materials associated with World History. Europe and the Middle East is given centrality in this book with... read more

Reviewed by Kara Barr, Instructor, Bowling Green State University on 2/1/18

This text covers an impressive amount of ground in relatively short chapters, something which is always a struggle in any survey text of global history. Some events and geographies garner more coverage and attention than others, which is... read more

Reviewed by Robert Moore, Adjunct, Chemeketa Community College on 6/20/17

Global history is a very difficult topic to tackle in a textbook without becoming far too long to be useful to most students or too brief to provide any narrative at all. This book provides adequate coverage. Some chapters provide more depth than... read more

Reviewed by Katie Kirakosian, Assistant Professor, Northern Virginia Community College on 6/20/17

Overall, the book covers much of the expected content for a course focused on world history. In some areas, like chapter 1 I was looking for a decontextualization of the concept of "prehistory" versus "history", as this is considered a very loaded... read more

Reviewed by James Frusetta, Associate Professor, Hampden-Sydney College on 6/20/17

The book provides an overview of key regional empires across the world. Such an approach, however, inevitably favors larger states and societies at the expense of smaller ones — understandable, given the breadth of material, and something I find... read more

Reviewed by Pamela Crawley, History Instructor, Tidewater Community College on 6/20/17

For a survey course, the text masterfully delves into early African history and brilliantly reviews the Classical World, Early Islam and Europe. However, instructors may want to supplement the text with additional readings for topics concerning... read more

Reviewed by Leigh Ann Craig, Associate Professor, Virginia Commonwealth University on 2/8/17

The test provides relatively even, if brief, coverage of western and central Eurasia, and somewhat more brief coverage of east Asia and the Americas. There is no glossary, nor any index. In a PDF, the glossary would seem extraneous, but the... read more

Reviewed by Chris Thomas, Associate Professor and Program Head, Reynolds Community College on 2/8/17

The text adequately covers all the materials that would be required in a survey World History course. While each chapter had a different author and thus in some areas more attention is given, overall the book provides the basic content and... read more

Reviewed by Mary Soots, Adjust Professor, Portland State University on 2/8/17

The book is comprehensive and all-encompassing in the development of states and societies throughout the world. It tends to be a bit Eurocentric, with chapters dedicated to Greek/Roman/ Byzantine/ Western Europe, while other regions of the world... read more

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One: Prehistory
  • Chapter Two: Early Middle Eastern and Northeast African Civilizations
  • Chapter Three: Ancient and Early Medieval India
  • Chapter Four: China and East Asia to the Ming Dynasty
  • Chapter Five: The Greek World from the Bronze Age to the Roman Conquest
  • Chapter Six: The Roman World from 753 BCE to 500 CE
  • Chapter Seven: Western Europe and Byzantium circa 5 0 0 - 10 0 0 CE
  • Chapter Eight: Islam to the Mamluks
  • Chapter Nine: African History to 1500
  • Chapter Ten: The Americas
  • Chapter Eleven: Central Asia
  • Chapter Twelve: Western Europe and Byzantium circa1000 - 1500 CE

Ancillary Material

  • Ancillary materials are available by contacting the author or publisher.
  • About the Book

    World History: Cultures, States, and Societies to 1500 offers a comprehensive introduction to the history of humankind from prehistory to 1500. Authored by six USG faculty members with advance degrees in History, this textbook offers up-to-date original scholarship. It covers such cultures, states, and societies as Ancient Mesopotamia, Ancient Israel, Dynastic Egypt, India's Classical Age, the Dynasties of China, Archaic Greece, the Roman Empire, Islam, Medieval Africa, the Americas, and the Khanates of Central Asia.It includes 350 high-quality images and maps, chronologies, and learning questions to help guide student learning. Its digital nature allows students to follow links to applicable sources and videos, expanding their educational experience beyond the textbook. It provides a new and free alternative to traditional textbooks, making World History an invaluable resource in our modern age of technology and advancement.

    About the Contributors


    Eugene Berger is a Professor in the History department at Georgia Gwinnett College.

    George L. Israel, Ph.D., Middle Georgia Statement University

    Charolette Miller, Ph.D., Middle Georgia Statement University

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