The Cultures of the West, Volume 1: A History: To 1750
Author: Clifford R. Backman
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Release Date: December 27, 2012
The Cultures of the West: A History focuses on the ways in which the major ideas and passions of Western culture developed, internally, and how they interacted with the broader world-for good and for ill. The development of such key ideas as religion, science, and philosophy form the central narrative of this book.
The Cultures of the West stands apart from other textbooks in a variety of ways, the first being thematic unity. What did people think and believe, throughout our history, about human nature, the right way to live, God, the best forms of government, or the meaning of human life? Rather than maintaining a single interpretive stance, author Clifford R. Backman relies upon a consistent set of questions: What did people think and feel throughout the centuries about politics, science, religion, and sex? How did they come to their positions regarding the right way to live? Backman's many years of experience in the classroom have informed his approach-students respond to engaging questions more than they are inspired by facts.
* Single author voice: clearly and compellingly written by an experienced teacher and scholar who knows how to emphasize intriguing and eye-opening elements of Western Civilization
* A book with a point of view: even if disagreed with, the text will at engage students' minds
* Exceptional coverage of cultural history, especially the history of what people thought and felt throughout the history of the West
* "Greater West" approach that integrates in sustained fashion coverage of Islam and the Middle East
* Superior coverage of Jewish history and the history of women
* Extensive primary source excerpts integrated directly into the text, many of which have been translated by the author
* Footnotes featuring surprising, engaging information usually neglected in other texts