Synopses & Reviews
Patterns of World History comes to the teaching of world history from the perspective of innovations the engine of historical change. Innovation is nothing new; so what we advocate in this book is a distinct intellectual framework for understanding innovation through its patterns of origin, interaction, and adaptation. Each small or large technical or cultural innovation originated in one geographical center, or independently in several different centers. As people in the centers interacted with their neighbors, the neighbors adapted to - and in many cases were transformed by - the innovations. By adaptation we include the entire spectrum of human responses, ranging from outright rejection to creative borrowing and, at times, forced acceptance.
What do we gain by studying world history as patterns of innovation? First, if we consider innovation to be a driving force of history, it helps satisfy an intrinsic human curiosity about origins-our own and others. Perhaps more importantly, seeing patterns of innovation in historical development brings to light connections and linkages among peoples, cultures, and regions that might not otherwise present themselves. At the same time such patterns can also reveal differences among cultures that other approaches to world history tend to neglect. For example, the differences between the civilizations of the Eastern and Western Hemispheres are generally highlighted in world history texts, but the broad commonalities of human groups creating agriculturally-based cities and states in widely separated areas also show deep parallels in their patterns of origins, interactions and adaptations: such comparisons are at the center of our approach.
Second, this kind of analysis offers insights into how an individual innovation was subsequently developed and diffused across space and time-that is, the patterns by which the new eventually becomes a necessity in our daily lives. Through all of this we gain a deeper appreciation of the unfolding of global history from its origins in small communities to the densely populated large countries in our present world.
Finally, our use of a broad-based understanding of innovation allows us to restore culture in all its individual and institutionalized aspects-spiritual, artistic, intellectual, scientific-to its rightful place alongside technology, environment, politics, and socio-economic conditions. That is, understanding innovation in this way allows this text to help illuminate the full range of human ingenuity over time and space in a comprehensive, evenhanded, and open-ended fashion.
"Patterns of World History is an excellent introduction for students into the vast subject of world history. The text's strength is its use of the overlaying theme of 'patterns.' For students, these patterns help them understand global history in a meaningful way. It gives them tools to understand how societies came about, how they interacted and what caused change in them. For instructors, the text provides an effective and flexible framework for engaging students to read, think, and write about world history--students will be 'seeing patterns'in no time."--Robert Bond, San Diego Mesa College
"Patterns of World History has set a new high benchmark for world history textbooks."--Candace Gregory, Sacramento State University
Patterns of World History
offers a distinct framework for understanding the global past through the study of origins, interactions, and adaptations. Authors Peter von Sivers, Charles A. Desnoyers, and George Stow--each specialists in their respective fields--examine the full range of human ingenuity over time and space in a comprehensive, even-handed, and critical fashion.
The book helps students to see and understand patterns through: ORIGINS - INTERACTIONS - ADAPTATIONS
These key features show the O-I-A framework in action:
* Seeing Patterns, a list of key questions at the beginning of each chapter, focuses students on the 3-5 over-arching patterns, which are revisited, considered, and synthesized at the end of the chapter in Thinking Through Patterns.
* Each chapter includes a Patterns Up Close case study that brings into sharp relief the O-I-A pattern using a specific idea or thing that has developed in human history (and helped, in turn, develop human history), like the innovation of the Chinese writing system or religious syncretism in India. Each case study clearly shows how an innovation originated either in one geographical center or independently in several different centers. It demonstrates how, as people in the centers interacted with their neighbors, the neighbors adapted to--and in many cases were transformed by--the idea, object, or event. Adaptations include the entire spectrum of human responses, ranging from outright rejection to creative borrowing and, at times, forced acceptance.
* Concept Maps at the end of each chapter use compelling graphical representations of ideas and information to help students remember and relate the big patterns of the chapter.
About the Author
Peter von Sivers is Associate Professor of Middle Eastern History at the University of Utah. He has previously taught at UCLA, Northwestern University, University of Paris VII (Vincennes), and the University of Munich. He has also served as Chair, Joint Committee of the Near and Middle East, Social Science Research Council (SSRC), New York, 1982-1985, editor, International Journal of Middle East Studies (IJMES), 1985-89, member, Board of Directors, Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA), 1987-90, and Chair, SAT II World History Test Development Committee of the Educational Testing Service (ETS), Princeton, NJ, 1991-1994. His publications include Caliphate, Kingdom, and Decline: The Political Theory of Ibn Khaldun, several edited books, and three-dozen peer-reviewed chapters and articles on Middle Eastern and North African history, as well as world history. He received his Dr. Phil. from the University of Munich.
Charles A. Desnoyers is Associate Professor of History and Director of Asian Studies at La Salle University, Philadelphia. He is also past Director of the Greater Philadelphia Asian Studies Consortium and President (2011-12) of the Mid-East Region Association for Asian Studies. His scholarly publications include A Journey to the East: Li Gui, 'A New Account of a Trip Around the Globe' (University of Michigan Press, 2004) and former coeditorship of the World History Association's Bulletin.
George B. Stow is Professor of History and Director of the Graduate Program in History at La Salle University, Philadelphia. His teaching experience embraces a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses in ancient Greece and Rome, medieval England, and world history, and for excellence in teaching he has been awarded the Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award. Professor Stow is a member of the Medieval Academy of America, and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He is the recipient of a NDEA Title IV Fellowship, a Woodrow Wilson Foundation Fellowship, and research grants from the American Philosophical Society and La Salle University. His publications include a critical edition of a fourteenth-century monastic chronicle, Historia Vitae et Regni Ricardi Secundi (University of Pennsylvania Press), as well as numerous articles and reviews in scholarly journals including Speculum, The English Historical Review, the Journal of Medieval History, the American Historical Review, and several others. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois.
Table of Contents
Each chapter contains Patterns Up Close, Concept Maps, Putting it All Together, Review and Respond, and Further Resources.
Part 1: From Human Origins to Early Agricultural Centers, Prehistory-10,000 B.C.E.
1. The African Origins of Humanity, Prehistory to 10,000 B.C.E.
The Origins of Humanity
Hominins: No Longer Apes but not yet Human
Human Adaptations: From Africa to Eurasia and Australia
The African Origins of Human Culture
Migration from South Asia to Australia
Migration from South Asia to Europe
The Ice Age Crisis and Human Migration to the Americas
The Ice Age
2. Agrarian-Urban Centers of the Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean, 11,500-600 B.C.E
Agrarian Origins in the Fertile Crescent, c. 11,500-1,500 B.C.E
Sedentary Foragers and Foraging Farmers
The Origins of Urban Centers in Mesopotamia and Egypt
Kingdoms in Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Crete
Interactions Among Multi-Ethnic and Multi-Religious Empires, c. 1500-600 B.C.E.
The Hittite and Assyrian Empires, 1600-600 B.C.E.
Small Kingdoms on the Imperial Margins, 1600-600 B.C.E.
Religious Experience and Cultural Achievements
3. Shifting Agrarian Centers in India, 3000-600 B.C.E.
The Vanished Origins of Harappa 3000 to 1500 B.C.E
The Region and People
Adapting to Urban Life in the Indus Valley
The Collapse of the Cities
Interactions in Northern India 1500 to 600 B.C.E.
The Vedic World, 1750 to 800 B.C.E.
Statecraft and the Ideology of Power, 800 to 600 B.C.E.
Indian Society, Culture, and Religion 1500 to 600 B.C.E.
Society and Family in Ancient India
Cultural Interactions to 600 B.C.E.
4. Agrarian Patterns and the Mandate of Heaven in Ancient China, 5000-481 B.C.E.
The Origins of Yellow River Cultures, 5000 to 1766 B.C.E.
Geography and Climate
The Origins of Neolithic Cultures
The Age of Myth and the Xia Dynasty, 2852 to 1766 B.C.E.
The Interactions of Shang and Zhou History and Politics, 1766 to 481 B.C.E.
The Shang Dynasty, 1766 to 1122 B.C.E.
The Mandate of Heaven: The Zhou Dynasty to 481 B.C.E.
Economy, Society, and Family Adaptation in Ancient China
Interactions of Zhou Economy and Society
Gender and the Family
Interactions of Religion, Culture, and Intellectual Life in Ancient China
Oracle Bones and Early Chinese Writing
Adaptations of Zhou Religion, Technology, and Culture
5. Origins Apart: The Americas and Oceania, 30,000-600 B.C.E.
The Americas: Hunters and Foragers 30,000 B.C.E. to 600 B.C.E.
Agriculture, Villages, and Urban Life
The Neolithic Revolution in the New World
The Origins of Urban Life
Foraging and Farming Societies outside the Andes and Mesoamerica
The Origins of Pacific Island Migrations 6000 to 600 B.C.E.
Lapita and Cultural Origins
Part 2: The Age of Empires and Visionaries, 600 B.C.E. - 600 C.E.
6. Chiefdoms and Early States in Africa and the Americas, 600 B.C.E.-600 C.E.
Agriculture and Early African Kingdoms
Saharan Villages, Towns, and Kingdoms
The Kingdom of Aksum
The Spread of Villages in Sub-Saharan Africa
West African Savanna and Rainforest Agriculture
The Spread of Village Life to East and South Africa
Patterns of African History, 600 B.C.E.-600 C.E.
Early States in Mesoamerica: Maya Kingdoms and Teotihuacán
The Maya Kingdoms in Southern Mesoamerica
The Kingdom of Teotihuacán in the Mexican Basin
The Andes: Moche and Nazca
The Moche in Northern Peru
Paracas and the Nazca in Southern Peru
7. Persia, Greece, and Rome, 550 B.C.E.-600 C.E.
Interactions between Persia and Greece
The Origins of the Achaemenid Persian Empire
Greek City-States in the Persian Shadow
Alexander's Empire and Its Successor Kingdoms
Interactions Between the Persian and Roman Empires
Parthian Persia and Rome
The Sasanian Persian and Late Roman Empires
Adaptations to Monotheism in the Middle East
Challenge to Polytheism: The Origins of Judaism, Zoroastrianism, and Greek Philosophy
Toward Religious Communities and Philosophical Schools
The Beginnings of Science and the Cultures of Kings and Citizens
The Sciences at the Museum of Alexandria
Royal Persian Culture
Greek and Roman Civic Culture
8. Empires and Visionaries in India, 600 B.C.E.-600 C.E.
Patterns of State Formation in India: Republics, Kingdoms, and Empires
The Road to Empire: The Mauryas