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This brief, best-selling Western Civilization text has helped thousands of students learn about the world they live in by exploring the story of its past. Jack Spielvogel's engaging, chronological narrative and extensive inclusion of primary source documents weaves the political, economic, social, religious, intellectual, cultural, and military aspects of history into a gripping story that is as memorable as it is instructive. New for the eighth edition is a visual end-of-chapter summary that helps students study, along with updated scholarship and more images. Also available for this edition is CourseMate, a set of media-rich study tools with interactive eBook that gives students access to quizzes, flashcards, primary sources, videos, and more. (CourseMate may be bundled with the text or purchased separately.) Available in the following split options: WESTERN CIVILIZATION: A BRIEF HISTORY, Eighth Edition Complete, Volume I: To 1715, and Volume II: Since 1500. Available with InfoTrac® Student Collections

Jackson J. Spielvogel, The Pennsylvania State University

Jackson J. Spielvogel is Associate Professor Emeritus of History at The Pennsylvania State University. He received his Ph.D. from The Ohio State University, where he specialized in Reformation history under Harold J. Grimm. His articles and reviews have appeared in journals such as Moreana, Journal of General Education, Catholic Historical Review, Archiv für Reformationsgeschichte, and American Historical Review. He also has contributed chapters or articles to THE SOCIAL HISTORY OF THE REFORMATION, THE HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE: A DICTIONARY HANDBOOK, the SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTER ANNUAL OF HOLOCAUST STUDIES, and UTOPIAN STUDIES. His work has been supported by fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation and the Foundation for Reformation Research. At Penn State, he helped inaugurate the Western Civilization course, as well as a popular course on Nazi Germany. His book HITLER AND NAZI GERMANY was published in 1987 (7th Edition, 2014). He is the author of WESTERN CIVILIZATION, first published in 1991 (10th Edition, 2017), and the coauthor (with William Duiker) of WORLD HISTORY, first published in 1994 (8th Edition, 2016). Professor Spielvogel has won five major university-wide teaching awards. During the year 1988−1989, he held the Penn State Teaching Fellowship, the university's most prestigious teaching award. In 1996, he won the Dean Arthur Ray Warnock Award for Outstanding Faculty member, and in 2000 received the Schreyer Honors College Excellence in Teaching Award.
  • The eighth edition includes new material and scholarship on such topics as the Black Death (Chapter 11); women in the home in the Italian Renaissance, the impact of the Italian wars on Machiavelli, the studia humanitatis, the Spanish expulsion of the Jews and Muslims, and the threat of the Ottoman Turks to the West (Chapter 12); the Thirty Years' War and how "western" Russia was before Peter the Great (Chapter 15); Modernism in literature and the arts (Chapter 24); the Turkish genocide of the Armenians and the Peace Settlement (Chapter 25); "The Attempt to Revive Religion" (new section) (Chapter 28); the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, gender issues, Muslim immigrants, technology, and the global financial collapse (new section) (Chapter 30).
  • New end-of-chapter format includes additional study tools for students, such as an illustrated Chapter Summary, Chapter Timeline, and Chapter Review consisting of "Upon Reflection" essay questions and a list of Key Terms.
  • InfoTrac® Student Collections are specialized databases expertly drawn from the Gale Academic One library. Each InfoTrac® Student Collection enhances the student learning experience in the specific course area related to the product. These specialized databases allow access to hundreds of scholarly and popular publications - all reliable sources - including journals, encyclopedias, and academic reports. Learn more and access at:
  • Expanded "Opposing Viewpoints." This feature, which presents a comparison of two or three primary sources in order to facilitate student analysis of historical documents, has been expanded and now appears in every chapter. New topics include "Akhenaten's Hymn to Aten and Psalm 104 of the Hebrew Bible" (Chapter 1), "The End of the Republic: Three Views" (Chapter 5), "Two Views of Trade and Merchants" (Chapter 9), "Causes of the Black Death: Contemporary Views" (Chapter 11), "Enlightened Absolutism: Enlightened or Absolute?" (Chapter 18), "Industrial Attitudes of the Middle Class in Britain and Japan" (Chapter 20), "Spain Divided: The Poems of Two Brothers" (Chapter 26), "Islam and the West: Secularism in France" (Chapter 30).
  • "Film & History" feature now includes THE GLADIATOR (Chapter 6) and THE YOUNG VICTORIA (Chapter 22).
  • "Images of Everyday Life" feature, which combines two or more illustrations with a lengthy caption to provide insight into different aspects of social life, now includes a new topic, "The Role of Spices in World Trade" (Chapter 14).
  • Seamless integration of social, cultural, economic, and political history ensures that readers have a balanced understanding of the causes and consequences of events.
  • The text's rich collection of primary documents gives students access to the kind of material historians rely on: letters, memoirs, song lyrics, official documents, diary entries, menus, poetry, plays, and more. The "Opposing Viewpoints" primary document feature helps students analyze one topic from two or more perspectives.
  • Over 325 four-color maps and artwork reproductions appear throughout the text.
  • A guide to Studying from Primary Source Materials at the front of the book includes tips on reading maps to help students understand the important connection between geography and the development of historical events, as well as guides to reading documents and studying photographs and illustrations.
  • Chronologies in every chapter list dates important to the understanding of a period, and place historical people and events in a comparative setting.
  • Focus Questions appear in the chapter-opening outline and are repeated at the beginning of the corresponding major section in the chapter to reinforce the main ideas.
  • "Opposing Viewpoints" features present a comparison of two or three primary sources to facilitate student analysis of historical documents. This feature has been expanded to appear in every chapter, and includes topics such as "Lords and Vassals in Europe and Japan," "Causes of the Black Death: Contemporary Views," "Attitudes of the Industrial Middle Class in Britain and Japan," and "Czechoslovakia, 1968: Two Faces of Communism." Assignable questions at the end of each feature allow for individual or collaborative study.
  • "Images of Everyday Life" features combine two or more illustrations with an extended caption to provide insight into different aspects of social life. Topics include "The Egyptian Diet," "Entertainment in the Middle Ages," "Spices and World Trade," "Living Conditions of London's Poor," and "Youth Culture in the 1960s."
  • "Film & History" features provide a brief analysis of the plot as well as the historical significance, value, and accuracy of eleven films, including new additions: THE GLADIATOR and THE YOUNG VICTORIA.
  • Spielvogel's clear, lively, and informative writing style is central to the text's success with students. Numerous testimonials from professors state that the readability of the text is a primary reason they use it--an adoption list that ranges from Ivy League universities to two-year technical colleges supports this assertion.
1. The Ancient Near East: The First Civilizations.
2. The Ancient Near East: Peoples and Empires.
3. The Civilization of the Greeks.
4. The Hellenistic World.
5. The Roman Republic.
6. The Roman Empire.
7. Late Antiquity and the Emergence of the Medieval World.
8. European Civilization in the Early Middle Ages, 750-1000.
9. The Recovery and Growth of European Society in the High Middle Ages.
10. The Rise of Kingdoms and the Growth of Church Power.
11. The Later Middle Ages: Crisis and Disintegration in the Fourteenth Century.
12. Recovery and Rebirth: The Age of The Renaissance.
13. Reformation and Religious Warfare in the Sixteenth Century.
14. Europe and the World: New Encounters, 1500-1800.
15. State Building and the Search for Order in the Seventeenth Century.
16. Toward a New Heaven and a New Earth: The Scientific Revolution and the Emergence of Modern Science.
17. The Eighteenth Century: An Age of Enlightenment.
18. The Eighteenth Century: European States, International Wars, and Social Change.
19. A Revolution in Politics: The Era of the French Revolution and Napoleon.
20. The Industrial Revolution and Its Impact on European Society.
21. Reaction, Revolution, and Romanticism, 1815-1850.
22. An Age of Nationalism and Realism, 1850-1871.
23. Mass Society in an "Age of Progress," 1871-1894.
24. An Age of Modernity, Anxiety, and Imperialism, 1894-1914.
25. The Beginning of the Twentieth-Century Crisis: War and Revolution.
26. The Futile Search for a New Stability: Europe between the Wars, 1919-1939.
27. The Deepening of the European Crisis: World War II.
28. Cold War and a New Western World, 1945-1965.
29. Protest and Stagnation: The Western World, 1965-1985.
30. After The Fall: The Western World In A Global Age (Since 1985).
Chapter Notes.
Each MindTap product offers the full, mobile-ready textbook combined with superior and proven learning tools at one affordable price. Students who purchase digital access can add a print option at any time when a print option is available for their course.

This Cengage solution can be seamlessly integrated into most Learning Management Systems (Blackboard, Brightspace by D2L, Canvas, Moodle, and more) but does require a different ISBN for access codes. Please work with your Cengage Learning Consultant to ensure the proper course set up and ordering information. For additional information, please visit the LMS Integration site.

Standalone Digital Access — Ultimate Value

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  • ISBN-10: 128551257X
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Aplia is an online learning solution that increases student engagement with automatically graded assignments and detailed explanations.

This Cengage solution can be seamlessly integrated into most Learning Management Systems (Blackboard, Brightspace by D2L, Canvas, Moodle, and more) but does require a different ISBN for access codes. Please work with your Cengage Learning Consultant to ensure the proper course set up and ordering information. For additional information, please visit the LMS Integration site.

Standalone Digital Access — Ultimate Value

Recommended and most popular

  • ISBN-10: 1285075277
  • ISBN-13: 9781285075273
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  • ISBN-10: 128552344X
  • ISBN-13: 9781285523446
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  • ISBN-10: 1133606768
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"[T]his is an excellent text. The coverage is comprehensive (unusual for a brief text!) and the writing is engaging and clear. I have seen other brief texts that read like compressed versions of the full text that are impossible for students to 'unpack' and difficult to slog through. This brief text will be very appealing for students."

"The layout is superb. Spielvogel sticks to his outline format, then works his way through the material. Certain [other] textbooks today waver along the way, then leave me a bit confused (I can only imagine what my students feel)."

Cengage provides a range of supplements that are updated in coordination with the main title selection. For more information about these supplements, contact your Learning Consultant.


Cengage Learning Testing, powered by Cognero® Instant Access

ISBN: 9781305669642
Cengage Learning Testing Powered by Cognero® is a flexible, online system that allows you to: import, edit, and manipulate content from the text’s test bank or elsewhere, including your own favorite test questions; create multiple test versions in an instant; and deliver tests from your LMS, your classroom, or wherever you want.