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This text engages students and provokes discussion by presenting the past through the prism of current and perennial issues. Interpretive chapters on such topics as gender, religion, war, ecology, and nationalism create both thematic narratives and the strands of a larger chronological account. The book makes great ideas accessible, explores major historical turning points, and reveals the dynamic of increasing global interactions (trade, migrations, etc.). It also compares cultures and civilizations while giving voice to individual lives.
This volume explores perennial issues. Gender relations are examined across the neolithic and urban revolutions. Issues of class, civility, and citizenship come to life in a history of Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Chinese, and Muslim cities. Ideas of love and sex are compared in European, Japanese and Indian history. The social dislocations of empire are compared in Rome and China. The Crusades are viewed through Muslim as well as Christian sources. In addition the seventeenth-century scientific revolution is compared with science in China and the Muslim world.