Jeffery Steely

ISBN-13: 978-1-935987-88-8

# pages: 292


Suggested Retail: $59.95



The story of “how we got here” is absolutely fascinating.  It has everything a person could want: drama, conflict, creativity, faith and much more.  Yet, in the quest to show all sides of the human storyline, many contemporary survey texts lose sight of the most essential element: history is a story.  It may be arranged chronologically or topically but a story it is nonetheless.   And in losing sight of the fact of history as a story, many contemporary survey texts also lose their ability to be easily read and grasped by the individual average student.  The very thickness and price of the thousand page tomes that are called “brief”, “concise” or “abridged” belie the fact that such dense texts are highly intimidating to average students and are almost unreadable. 

With adult students, who are often in an accelerated course, traditional texts are even more intimidating.  Given a course length of eight weeks, a thousand page text is almost certainly unreadable for a working adult who goes to school as well. 

The story of history is a fascinating one and has something for everyone.  The gap between thousand page tomes that are intimidating and increasingly unfathomable on the one hand and the average student (traditional and non-traditional) on the other hand must be bridged. 

Jeffery Steely has over a decade long career in teaching adult, accelerated program students and traditional students.  This perspective helped inform his decision to write this text: the need for one text that could be used with both subsets of the student population- each with different needs, but both have the most important need in common: The need for an accessible, not intimidating text that still covers the basics of the story of Western Civilization. 

In this text, Jeffery Steely attempts to bridge this gap.  A Brief History of Western Civilization is a truly brief text that tells the essentials of the human story line, but leaves maximum flexibility to the faculty members to enhance the text with supplementary material on the themes they focus on.  This text alsoprovides students with an accessible survey text that is easily comprehended and that covers the essentials and leaves plenty of space and time for in-class activities. 

Table of Contents


About the author                                                        vii

1 Ancient Ancestors and First Civilizations               1

2 Hellenic and Hellenistic Greece                             9

3 The Roman Republic and Empire                         19

4 Byzantium and Islam                                             37

5 The Middle Ages: 500–1400 AD                           49

6 The Renaissance and Empire                               67

7 Reforming Religion and the Wars of Religion       81

8 Early Modern European Society, Royal

Absolutism, New Science, and Commerce              99

9 Eighteenth Century Europe, The French

Revolution, and Napoleon                                       125

10 Industrialized Europe, State Building, and

Social Change: 1815–1871                                     145

11 The Crisis of European Culture:1871–1914       165

12 The United States: 1783–1920                           179

13 War, Revolution, and Aftermath: Europe,

1914–1939                                                               197                     

14 The United States: 1920–1939                           223

15 Global War, Cold War, and Rebuilding

Europe: 1939–1992                                                 231

16 The United States: 1939–1992                           257



About the Author(s): Jeffery Steely

Jeffery Steely did his graduate study in history at Marquette University.  He currently resides in West Bend, Wisconsin, and teaches for a local university.    He has taught Western Civilization and American History survey courses as well as upper division courses on Early America, History of Oil, The FBI and American Society, and American Diplomacy.  He has also completed a thorough going review and revision of several courses in the Adult, Accelerated Learning Program.  Among these are the Renaissance and Reformation Course, Worldviews History (the adult version of the traditional Western Civilization Course), an Islam among others. 

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