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World History For Dummies, 2nd Edition

ISBN: 978-0-470-44654-6
408 pages
June 2009
World History For Dummies, 2nd Edition (0470446544) cover image
Now updated! Your personal tour guide to the history of the world

Want to know more about global history? This concise guide explains in clear detail all the major players and events that have made the world what it is today. Covering the entirety of human history, this comprehensive resource highlights important developments in everything from religion and science to art and war — giving you an understanding of how the 21st-century world came to be.

  • Begin to connect with the past — label the eras as you meet the Neanderthals, home in on Homer, raise Atlantis, and preserve Pharaohs
  • Find strength in numbers — trace the growth from ancient civilizations to today's global community and discover what makes societies succeed or fail

  • Discover the impact of thought — explore the rise of religion, the roots of philosophy, and the advance of science — and how our feelings and beliefs continually redefined us

  • Know the global consequences of war — ride with the Greeks and the Romans, arm yourself with the cavalry, dig the trenches, and follow the paths humans took to wage modern war

  • Meet the movers and shakers — from great leaders and courageous revolutionaries to ruthless tyrants and unsung heroes

  • Examine significant events of the 21st century — from 9/11 and the Afghanistan and Iraq wars to climate change, Hurricane Katrina, and the economic rise of China, India, and Brazil

Open the book and find:

  • A detailed overview of history
  • The development of the world's religions

  • Reviews of essential historical documents, from the Bible to the Bill of Rights

  • The invention of writing and art

  • Scientific developments that revolutionized the world

  • Capsule biographies of people who changed history — and a few who were changed by it

  • Ten unforgettable dates in world history

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Part I: Getting into History.

Chapter 1: Tracing a Path to the Present.

Chapter 2: Digging Up Reality.

Chapter 3: Putting History into Perspective.

Part II: Finding Strength in Numbers.

Chapter 4: Getting Civilized.

Chapter 5: The Rise and Fall of Many Empires.

Chapter 6: History’s Mid-Life Crisis: The Middle Ages.

Chapter 7: The Struggle for World Domination.

Chapter 8: Grabbing the Globe.

Chapter 9: Clashing All Around the World.

Part III: Seeking Answers.

Chapter 10: Religion through the Ages.

Chapter 11: Loving Wisdom: The Rise and Reach of Philosophy.

Chapter 12: Being Christian, Thinking Greek.

Chapter 13: Awakening to the Renaissance.

Chapter 14: Making a Break: The Reformation.

Chapter 15: Opening Up to Science and Enlightenment.

Part IV: Fighting, Fighting, Fighting.

Chapter 16: Sticks and Stones: Waging War the Old-Fashioned Way.

Chapter 17: The War Machine Gets Some Upgrades.

Chapter 18: Modernized Mayhem.

Part V: Meeting the Movers and Shakers.

Chapter 19: Starting Something Legendary.

Chapter 20: Battling Toward Immortality.

Chapter 21: Explorers and Discoverers: Places to Go, People to See.

Chapter 22: Turning Tables: Rebels and Revolutionaries.

Part VI: The Part of Tens.

Chapter 23: Ten Unforgettable Dates in History.

Chapter 24: Ten Essential Historical Documents.


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Peter Haugen is a prolific history writer. In addition to authoring and contributing to several books, his work has appeared in publications including History Magazine, mental_floss, and Psychology Today. Haugen has served on the staffs of such newspapers as the St. Petersburg Times and the Sacramento Bee.
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