World History: An Introduction provides readers with the knowledge and tools necessary to understand the global historical perspective and how it can be used to shed light on both our past and our present. A concise and original guide to the concepts, methods, debates and contents of world history, it combines a thematic approach with a clear and ambitious focus. Each chapter traces connections with the past and the present to explore major questions in world history: How did humans evolve from an endangered species to the most successful of them all? How has nature shaped human history? How did agricultural societies push human history in a new direction? How has humankind organized itself in ever more complex administrative systems? How have we developed new religious and cultural patterns? How have the paths of 'The West' and 'The Rest' diverged over the last five centuries? How, at the same time, has the world become more interconnected and "globalized"? How is this world characterized by growing gaps in wealth, poverty and inequality?
Sharp and accessible, Eric Vanhaute's introduction to this exciting field demonstrates that world history is more of a perspective than a single all-encompassing narrative: an instructive new way of seeing, thinking and doing. It is an essential resource for students of history in a global context.
Eric Vanhaute is Professor of Economic and Social History and World History at Ghent University in Belgium. He has been Visiting Research Fellow at the Fernand Braudel Center, Binghamton and at Utrecht University, Fellow-in-Residence at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences, and Visiting Professor at the University of California at Berkeley, the Institute of Economic and Social History at The University of Vienna and the Institute for Social Economy and Culture at Peking University.