Global and world history address the deep structural changes that have shaped human experience. Many are material, related to environmental and climatic alteration, to the domestication of livestock and development of agriculture, to techlogy, to disease, and to variations in human immunity, reproduction, and physiology. Others are social and cultural, touching upon issues of migration, trade, language development and differentiation, institutions of enslavement and of freedom, traditions of marriage and child-rearing, the emergence of large-scale political organization from early kingdoms to vast empires, republics and federations, and the management of war and peace. To deal with such challenging issues, global historians draw upon new techniques of analysis and comparison. But they also continue venerable traditions, inherited from the earliest civilizations, of narrating the past on the most comprehensive and significant scale possible. This book examines the long search for an integrated human story, and particularly the points at which rapid changes of philosophy and perspective in the twentieth century transformed the historical disciplines. It provides the perfect introduction to global history for students and scholars alike.
Pamela Kyle Crossley is Robert 1932 and Barbara Black Professor of History at Dartmouth College.