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Worlds Together Worlds Apart: v. 1: A History of the Modern World from the Mongol Empire to the Present Hardcover – 16 May 2008

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 1072 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 2nd Revised edition edition (16 May 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393925471
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393925470
  • Product Dimensions: 23.9 x 4.6 x 28.4 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,639,102 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 31 reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
The best modern world history book on the market 23 Nov. 2007
By Wonkish - Published on
Format: Paperback
I've used several different modern world history texts in my courses, and this is not only the one that I like best, but according to student course evaluations it is the one that my students at 3 different universities have liked the best. It does a great job of connecting the dots between different civilizations and showing the relationships among them, unlike the standard text that simply throws all the different civilizations into separate sections. It also is truly global, whereas too many texts are simply Western Civ. texts that add a few "non-western" chapters. After reading some dozen modern World History books I'm convinced that this one is not only the best, but is head and shoulders above its competitors.

I will admit, though, that in my experience the 2.0 student hasn't liked this book as well as the 2.8-4.0 student. But to be fair, that was also true of other books I assigned in the past (Bulliet, Palmer, Kishlansky, etc.)
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Excellent. 30 Mar. 2007
By Aaron Rutledge - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Unlike the previous reviewers I found Tignor's text to be a highly lucid and comprehensive account of world history. If you have not read much history than you will have to be patient at first with the writing style as it is chock full of information and concepts that can seem disconnected an quite abstract. Yet, if you have the perseverance to stick with it, you be rewarded with a rich understanding of the themes that run through the narrative of human history. Strongly recommended.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Text 25 May 2010
By Michael C. - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Worlds Together, Worlds Apart provides a fantastic account of world history that, while not leaving out many important details, looks past the facts and avoids the all too common Euro-centric view of world history. Instead of merely recounting the facts of world history, region by region, in chronological order, Tignor takes a much different approach. The text examines each region of the world in detail, but it also discusses the relations between various civilizations. The relations between nations the text discusses vary from actual interactions between cultures to comparisons of simultaneous but independent developments in different regions in the world.

To facilitate a more global approach to world history, the text is not ordered chronologically or by region. Rather, it is organized thematically. Each chapter explores a major theme (politics, culture, social structure, etc) in history and its development in (and among) the various civilizations of the world. As a result, Rome and Han China appear in the same chapter, while the politics of the 17th and 18th centuries and the culture of the same time period appear in different chapters. This structure is certainly a departure from the norm, but it allows for the authors to discuss global developments, trends, and interactions uninhibited by the constraints of a traditional history text's structure.

Unfortunately, the density of information forces the readability of the prose to suffer a bit in some parts, but the content of this text far surpasses that of other world history texts.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Better suited for a high school course 9 Oct. 2012
By L. Bravim - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Worlds Together, Worlds Apart" was developed for a general world history course at Princeton University. More than 70,000 students are currently using the text for a free Coursera class taught by Prof. Adelman, one of the Worlds Together coauthors. As with many introductory textbooks, the subject matter is so broad that there is a startling lack of depth on any one country or period. It reminded me of a textbook that I used as a high school sophomore many years ago, but with the simple addition of selected primary sources interspersed in each chapter.

Everyone will learn something from this book, but it would work better if the editors had pared down the content so that it focused on a narrower span of time. The book starts with the advent of modern humanity and runs through the 2000s. The coursera class utilizes only part of the text (Chapters 11 - 21, roughly 1300 C.E. to the present). I strongly recommend buying the second edition, as the third edition is more expensive and not noticeably different in content.

The primary benefit of Worlds Together is the summary of time periods/cultures that students may be unfamiliar with. The suggestions for further reading are helpful in finding sources for more serious study. Overall, the text lacks depth and narrative coherency. If not required, find a better world history book.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Textbook for people with open minds 29 Nov. 2007
By AznAngelGurl - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is great in that it goes beyond what the black death did in EUROPE. The book is written as a text book and contains maps, pictures, and tons of useful information. The greatest part of this book is that it presents educational findings in a textbook style so that even high schoolers can read it without feeling too overwhelmed. Also, in high school most the student don't know of the mogul empire; this book sheds light on other parts of the world that most high school classes doesn't cover.
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