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Cultures of the West A History, Volume 2: Since 1350

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  • Edition: 3rd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2019-09-27
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
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Cultures of the West: A History, Third 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.

Author Biography

Clifford R. Backman is Associate Professor of History at Boston University, where he has been a member of the department 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

About the Author
Note on Dates

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 and "The Elect"
Strife and Settlement in England
Catholic Reform and the Council of Trent
The Society of Jesus
What about the Catholic and 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 Wars of All Against All, 1540-1648
The Triumph of Death
The Godly Society
From the Peace of Augsburg to the Edict of Nantes: The French Wars of Religion
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
Paying for Absolutism
Mercantilism and Poverty
International Trade in a Mercantilist Age
The Slave Trade and Domestic Subjugation
Domesticating Dynamism: Regulating Culture
The Control of Private Life
England's Separate Path: The Rise of Constitutional Monarchy
Ottoman Absolutism
Persian Absolutism
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
Can Women Be Enlightened?
The Jewish Enlightenment
The Jews and Europe's Ambivalence
The Unenlightened
Assessing the Enlightenment

17. The French Revolution and the Napoleonic Empire, 1789-1815
A Revolution in Western History?
Revolutionary Road
The Enlightened Revolution
The Revolution Turns Radical
How to Judge a Revolution
The Rush to Empire
The Continental System
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 World
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
Why Terrorism?
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?

Reference Maps
Appendix. Primary Sources Glossary

Supplemental Materials

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