Most people's knowledge of world history is hazy and incomplete at best. We know bits without always understanding how they fit together. This guide gives a full picture, revealing the hidden histories and communities left out of conventional textbooks - from the civilizations of Africa, Asia and Latin America to the history of women, submerged beneath accounts of politics and war. By looking at history in its entirety, we see the interconnections in our past and the contexts for the familiar historical narratives. This guide includes a section on how the key issues of the 21st century - climate change, 9/11, the Iraq war, corporate power, China's headlong growth - fit into the broader patterns of world history.