Book list for World Since 1500

(Hist 102 sections 02, 03; Spring 2012)

History is the study of humanity and change over time. In this class we’ll have lots of both: the whole world over the last five hundred years (that’s about one year per four minutes of class time), from our pre-industrial heritage to our hypertext present, from five hundred million people to over seven billion. We will recreate the present from the past, and see how our current situation is in many ways the legacy of earlier cultures and processes. Who we are and where we are in the world is very much a historical question, as we will discover.

This class will examine this history through many lenses: political, economic, social, cultural, personal. The textbook will provide the basic survey of the history, supplemented by readings that will give greater depth and texture to subjects we will be discussing. The lectures and discussions will cover some of the same ground, but from different perspectives, including an introduction to the challenges and pleasures of Doing History.

Required Texts:

  • Peter N. Stearns, Michael B. Adas, Stuart B. Schwartz, Marc Jason Gilbert, World Civilizations: The Global Experience, Volume 2 (6th Edition). 978-0205659593
  • Simon Wiesenthal, The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness, Schocken Books, Rev. and Expanded Ed., 1997. 978-0805210606
  • Andrew F. Smith’s Eating History: Thirty Turning Points in the Making of American Cuisine (Columbia University Press, 2009) 978-0231140935