The Thinking Past: Questions and Problems in World History to 1750 is based on the premise that asking questions and evaluating sources represents an insightful way to study world history. Authors Adrian Cole and Stephen Ortega believe that the classroom experience of debating different issues, such as the origins of war and the nature of empire, serves as a solid foundation for actually thinking about world history.
* Questions-based approach: Each chapter in The Thinking Past is based on a question that has been generated in an actual class discussion
* Examines major problems and ideas in world history--technology, religion, global trade, participatory politics, and more
* Organized thematically, with a chronological progression that preserves a strong narrative flow
* Uses both primary sources and the latest research to convey the sense that "history" is part of an ongoing debate across many disciplines
* "Flipped classroom" approach asks students to learn material outside of class so they can engage in discussion when they come to class