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Cultures of the West: A History, Second Edition, focuses on the ways in which the major ideas and passions of Western culture developed, internally, and how they interacted with the broader world--for good and for ill. The development of such key ideas as religion, science, and philosophy form the central narrative of this book.
Cultures of the West stands apart from other textbooks in a variety of ways, the first being thematic unity. What did people think and believe, throughout our history, about human nature, the right way to live, God, the best forms of government, or the meaning of human life? Rather than maintaining a single interpretive stance, author Clifford R. Backman relies upon a consistent set of questions: What did people think and feel throughout the centuries about politics, science, religion, and sex? How did they come to their positions regarding the right way to live? Backman's many years of experience in the classroom have informed his approach--students respond to engaging questions more than they are inspired by facts.
New to This Edition
* A more comprehensive treatment of Western Europe, with fuller coverage of the Middle Ages, the French Revolution, and the world wars * A new Chapter 9: The Expansive Realm of Islam, 30-900 in Volume 1 and two fewer chapters in Volume 2 for a more course-friendly periodization * Consistent treatment of women and gender in the central narrative * New chapter introductions and conclusions * New marginal headings that identify key events and developments * An expanded map program featuring twenty-four new maps * A new Prologue: Before History in Volume 1 and the combined edition * Updated scholarship
Clifford R. Backman has been a member of the History Department at Boston University since 1989. He is currently at work on a book that traces the development of toleration and interpersonal forgiveness in medieval Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.
Table of Contents
List of Maps Preface About the Author Note on Dates Prologue: Before History
1. Water and Soil, Stone and Metal: The First Civilizations 10,000-2100 BCE The Tigris, the Euphrates, and the Land Between the Rivers Early Mesopotamia: Kings and Priests The Idea of Empire Mesopotamian Life: Farms and Cities, Letters and Numbers Religion and Myth: The Great Above and Great Below Ancient Egypt, Gift of the Nile Life and Rule in Old Kingdom Egypt The Kingdom of the Dead
2. Law Givers, Emperors, and Gods: The Ancient Near East 2100-486 BCE Old Babylon Middle Kingdom Egypt The New Kingdom Empire The Indo-European Arrival The Age of Iron Begins Persia and the Religion of Fire
3. The People of the Covenant 1200-350 BCE The Bible and History The Land of Canaan Dreams of a Golden Age Women and the Law Prophets and Prophecy The Struggle for Jewish Identity Second Temple Judaism
4. Greeks and Persians 2000-479 BCE The First Greeks The Search for Mythic Ancestors in Archaic Age Greece Colonists, Hoplites, and the Path toward Citizenship A Cult of Masculinity Civilized Pursuits: Lyric Poetry Sparta: The Militarization of the Citizenry Miletus: The Birthplace of Philosophy Athens: Home to Democracy The Persian Wars
5. Classical Greece and the Hellenistic World 479-30 BCE Athens's Golden Age The Polis: Ritual and Restraint The Excluded: Women, Children, and Slaves The Invention of Drama The Peloponnesian Disaster Advances in Historical Inquiry Medicine as Natural Law The Flowering of Philosophy The Rise of Macedonia and the Conquests of Alexander the Great The Hellenistic World The Maccabean Revolt
6. Empire of the Sea: Rome 753 BCE-212 CE Ancient Italy and the Rise of Rome From Monarchy to Republic The Republic of Virtue Size Matters Can the Republic Be Saved? Rome's Golden Age: The Augustan Era The Sea, the Sea Roman Lives and Values Height of the Pax Romana: The "Five Good Emperors"
7. The Rise of Christianity in a Roman World 40 BCE-300 CE The Vitality of Roman Religion The Jesus Mystery A Crisis in Tradition Ministry and Movement What Happened to His Disciples? Christianities Everywhere Romans in Pursuit Philosophical Foundations: Stoicism and Neoplatonism
8. The Early Middle Ages 300-750 The Imperial Crisis Imperial Decline: Rome's Overreach Martyrdom and Empire A Christian Emperor and a Christian Church The Rise of "New Rome": The Byzantium Empire Barbarian Kings and Warlords Divided Estates and Kingdoms The Body as Money and Women as Property Christian Paganism Christian Monasticism
9. The Expansive Realm of Islam 30-900 "Age of Ignorance": The Arabian Background The Qur'an and History From Preacher to Conqueror Conversion or Compulsion? The Islamic Empire Sunnis and Shi'a Islam and the Classical Traditions Women and Islam
10. Reform and Renewal in the Greater West 750-1258 Two Palace Coups The Carolingian Ascent Charlemagne Imperial Coronation Carolingian Collapse The Splintering of the Caliphate The Reinvention of Western Europe Mediterranean Cities The Reinvention of the Church The Reinvention of the Islamic World The Call for Crusades The Crusades Turkish Power and Byzantine Decline Judaism Reformed, Renewed, and Reviled
11. Worlds Brought Down 1258-1453 Late Medieval Europe Scholasticism Mysticism The Guild System The Mendicant Orders Early Representative Government The Weakening of the Papacy Noble Privilege and Popular Rebellion The Hundred Years' War The Plague The Mongol Takeover In the Wake of the Mongols Persia under the Il-Khans A New Center for Islam The Ottoman Turks 12. Renaissances and Reformations 1350-1563 Rebirth or Culmination? The Political and Economic Matrix The Renaissance Achievement Christian Humanism Erasmus: Humanist Scholar and Social Critic Martin Luther: The Gift of Salvation Luther's Rebellion against the Church The Reformation Goes International Calvin: Protestantism as Theology The Godly Society The Rebirth of Satire Catholic Reform and the Council of Trent The Society of Jesus What about the Orthodox East?
13. Worlds Old and New 1450-1700 European Voyages of Discovery New Continents and Profits Conquest and Epidemics The Copernican Drama Galileo and the Truth of Numbers Inquisition and Inquiry The Revolution Broadens The Ethical Costs of Science The Islamic Retreat from Science Thinking about Truth Newton's Mathematical Principles
14. The War of All against All 1540-1648 From the Peace of Augsburg to the Edict of Nantes: French Wars of Religion Strife and Settlement in England Dutch Ascendancy and Spanish Eclipse The Thirty Years' War Enemies Within: The Hunt for Witches The Jews of the East and West The Waning of the Sultanate New Centers of Intellectual and Cultural Life Wars of Religion: The Eastern Front Economic Change in an Atlantic World
15. From Westphalia to Paris: Regimes Old and New 1648-1750 The Peace of Westphalia: 1648 The Argument for Tyranny The Social Contract Absolute Politics Police States Self-Indulgence with a Purpose: The Example of Versailles Mercantilism and Absolutism Mercantilism and Poverty Domesticating Dynamism: Regulating Culture The Control of Private Life England's Separate Path: The Rise of Constitutional Monarchy Ottoman Absolutism Persian Absolutism The International Economy in a Mercantilist Age The Slave Trade and Domestic Subjugation The Return of Uncertainty
16. The Enlightened 1690-1789 The Enlightenment Enterprise Learning from Our Worst Mistakes A New World of Ideas Voltaire and the Limits of Optimism The Radical Thought of Rousseau The Jewish Enlightenment The Jews and Europe's Ambivalence The Unenlightened Assessing the Enlightenment
17. The French Revolution and Napoleon 1789-1815 A Revolution in Western History? Revolutionary Road The Enlightened Revolution The Revolution Turns Radical How to Judge a Revolution Napoleon The Rush to Empire The Continental System Downfall Revolution in the Colonies
18. Industrialization and Its Discontents 1750-1850 Britain's Head Start Innovation and Infrastructure Trying to Catch Up to Britain Trying to Catch Up to Europe: The Ottoman Empire Life in the Industrial Age Riots and Repression Women and Children Last The Romantic Generation
19. The Birth of Modern Politics 1815-1848 Conservatism in Power Royalism and Its Opponents The Moral Component of Conservatism The Challenge of Liberalism Rebellion and Reform Responses to Liberal Capitalism The Revolutions of 1848 Karl Marx and Revolution The Collapse of the Concert of Europe Women in a Conservative Age
20. Nationalism and Identity 1800-1900 Nationalism in Theory Nationalism in Practice: France, Italy, and Germany Frustrated Nationalism: Hungary and Ireland Jewish Identities Islamic Nationalisms Reforming Islam
21. The Modern Woman 1860-1914 The Appetite for Reform Whose Rights Come First? Suffragists and Suffragettes Love and Sex The Female Identity Education and Work The "Woman Question" for Muslims
22. The Challenge of Secularism 1800-1914 Who Killed God? The Theory of Creation Darwin and Evolution by Natural Selection A Secular Universe Nietzsche and the Will to Power Art for Art's Sake The Illness of Western Society Freud and Psychoanalysis Modernism: The First Wave The Catholic Counterattack Modernism, Secularism, and the Jews The Islamic Exception
23. The Great Land Grab 1870-1914 "The White Man's Burden" The Second Industrial Revolution Looking Overseas Missionary Europe Industrial Warfare and Command Economies Western Ways: Emulation and Resistance
24. The World at War (Part I) 1914-1918 The Run-Up to War The Balance of Power A New Map of Hell The War in the Trenches The Home Front Officers and Gentlemen Russia's Revolution Bolshevism and the Laws of History How Not to End a War Young Turks 25. Radical Realignments 1919-1939 History for Beginners Parceling Out Nations New Rights and New Economies The Great Depression The Search for Someone to Blame Modernism: The Second Wave The Rise of Fascism: Italy and Spain Nazism in Germany Oppression and Terror in Russia A New Deal? Appeasement and Pacifism
26. The World at War (Part II) 1937-1945 The War in Europe War in the Pacific Atomic Fissures Women in, and against, Fascism Atrocities and Holocaust Making Amends The United Nations and Human Rights World War II and the Middle East Arab Nationalism and Growing Zionism
27. Theater of the Absurd: The Postwar World 1945-1968 Setting to Work Alienation and the Absurd The Cold War Decolonization in a Cold War Word Rise of the Welfare State Social Conservatism and Economic Liberalism The Postwar Boom Turning Point: 1967-1968 The Female Factor Women, Islam, and the State
28. Something to Believe In 1960-1988 A Generation of Rebellion Big Science and Expanding Secularism Another Catholic Reformation Postwar Protestantism Jewish Revival and Conflict International Judaism and the State of Israel Islamic Revolutions Ba'athism and Brotherhood
29. Global Warmings Since 1989 1989: One Year, Three Crises The United States of Europe Economic Globalization War and Peace, from the Balkans to Pakistan Islam and Its Discontents Why Terrorism? "Why Do They Hate Us?" Israel, Palestine, and the Arab Spring Women and the Global World Debt, Taxes, and Liberty Free Market? What Free Market? What Is the Greater West Now?