Preface Exploring World History through Geography: From the Cradle of Civilization to a Globalized World takes readers on a journey through time from many of the earliest world civilizations right into the 21st century. Not your run-of-the-mill world history tome, this book examines world history through the closely related discipline of geography. Beginning with the early civilizations of ancient Mesopo- tamia, readers will learn how humans interacted with the environment around them, as well as the environment’s role in not only shaping the society’s world- view but also enabling them to build socially stratified and successful civiliza- tions. Additionally, the book examines how civilizations interacted with others from developing cross-boundary trade to initiating wars of expansion, to the intentional and unintentional spread, or diffusion, of culture across political boundaries. Finally, the development of the study and application of geography within civilizations, such as the creation and use of maps, the study of cultures and Earth’s processes, and the use—and abuse—of geographic theory in the pur- suit of war is also included. In 21 chronologically arranged chapters, Exploring World History through Geography dives into a broad and global selection of history’s major civilizations, including the dynasties of ancient Egypt the Roman and Byzantine empires Chi- na’s great dynasties the kingdoms of Aksum and Kilwa the Maya, Aztec, and Inca empires as well as the civilizations of Oceania, among many others. In later chapters, the focus broadens as the advent of long-distance transportation, the Industrial Revolution, and finally globalization makes a focus on events, such as the world wars, the Cold War, and resource conflicts in the Middle East relevant. Written for high school and college students, as well as general readers, each accessible chapter provides an overview of the topic, illustrated with contextual- ized visual, textual, and statistical primary sources, and sidebars that explain rel- evant geographic themes and topics and dive deeper into fascinating details mentioned in the text. In addition, each chapter closes with further readings, as well as a timeline of events discussed in the chapter, juxtaposed against events happening in other parts of the world, for a truly global view. And of course, it wouldn’t be a geography book without a liberal application of maps. Exploring World History through Geography is intended to be read cover to cover for the best understanding, although each chapter could be read independently
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