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Forging the Modern World

A History

Third Edition

Author James Carter and Richard Warren

Publication Date - 17 June 2021

ISBN: 9780197580233

448 pages
6 1/2 x 9 1/4 inches

In Stock

Explores the ways historians use and produce information to explain key transformations in global economic, political, and ideological relationships since the fourteenth century


In Forging the Modern World: A History, Third Edition, authors James Carter and Richard Warren offer an accessible explanation of key transformations in global economic, political, and ideological relationships since the fourteenth century. The book is distinct from most world history texts in three important ways. First, it explores the ways in which historians use and produce information. Each chapter delves deeply into one or two specific issues of historical inquiry related to the chapter theme, showing how new primary sources, methodologies, or intellectual trends have changed how we engage with the past. Second, it clearly explains the political, economic, and ideological concepts that students need to understand in order to compare events and trends across time and space. Finally, the chapters are organized around global historical themes, which are explored through an array of conceptual and comparative lenses. While the book chapters proceed chronologically, each chapter is written with some chronological overlap linking it to preceding and subsequent chapters. This strategy emphasizes the interconnectedness between the events and themes of one chapter and those of surrounding chapters.

New to this Edition

  • Improved coverage and analysis focuses on recent decades. Feedback from reviewers and readers encouraged the authors to adjust the book's organization to allow for expanded coverage of key events and trends of the twentieth century, and to provide more depth to analysis of events since the end of the Cold War.
  • Reimagined "historians explore" sections introduce new topics and sources. There are eight new "Historians Explore" sections for the third edition, including "Haiti and the Age of Revolution," "Mass, Media, Propaganda and the Modern State," and "Identities and Protest Movements." At the end of each chapter, the text now includes suggestions for "Exploring the Sources," including primary and secondary sources, web sites, podcasts, and other relevant media.
  • Updated chapter contents reflect new scholarship. The third edition incorporates new scholarship to give students clearer understandings of epidemic disease and its consequences; the construction of identity and its relationship to power; environmental history; and other topics.
  • New images and maps enhance the text. Thirty new images and eleven new maps have been incorporated into this edition.
  • Greatly expanded digital resources increase opportunities for student engagement. The Third Edition makes available to students an enhanced eBook that embeds digital learning tools directly into the narrative, including "Historians Explore" videos that further the historiographical investigations raised in each chapter; notetaking guides that help the student focus on the main concepts in each chapter, quizzes that provide opportunities to check understanding, interactive timeline exercises, and six to seven primary sources per chapter, curated by the authors to deepen historical context. All of these resources are also found in the Oxford Learning Link Direct course cartridge that instructors can integrate into their LMS.


  • This is a global history produced with great attention to the potential for what books can do as tools for historical learning. Its themes, qualities, and authorial voice are consistent throughout.
  • The book makes an argument about how the modern world came to be without attempting an encyclopedic overview. It provides a framing narrative against which additional cases can be compared and contrasted, enabling instructors to use their areas of interest/expertise to best effect in the classroom.
  • The authors wish to help students understand the development of the most important structures through which people around the world relate to each other: both the structures and the people who act within them are critical to the story they tell.
  • The authors pull back the curtain on what historical inquiry is, so that their students could better understand the distinction between the past and history, and could learn to analyze historical arguments (including those made by their instructors).
  • The many maps and images were chosen with care to add significant value to the book as a learning tool.

About the Author(s)

James Carter is Professor of History at Saint Joseph's University.

Richard Warren is Professor of History at Saint Joseph's University.

Table of Contents

    List of Maps
    Changes to the Third Edition
    About the Authors

    INTRODUCTION Forging the Modern World
    What's in a Title?
    Sources and Methods
    Practicing History with This Book
    Agency and Contingency

    CHAPTER 1 A World Connected 1347-1520
    Political and Economic Order in Afro-Eurasia
    The Great Disruptions of the Fourteenth Century
    Historians Explore The Second Global Pandemic
    New Structures and New Relationships
    Exploring the Sources
    A Few Good Books

    CHAPTER 2 The New Global Interface 1486-1637
    Encounter and Cataclysm in the Western Hemisphere
    Historians Explore The Conquest Era
    From Conquest to Colonialism
    A World Connected
    Exploring the Sources
    A Few Good Books

    CHAPTER 3 The Paradoxes of Early Modern Empire 1501-1661
    The Words and Deeds of Empire Building
    Tangled Loyalties and the European Wars of Religion
    Collapse and Restoration of Empire in China
    Historians Explore The Ming-Qing Transition
    Exploring the Sources
    A Few Good Books

    CHAPTER 4 Production and Consumption in the First Global Economy 1571-1721
    Agricultural Production
    Global Trade Networks
    Historians Explore Early Modern Textiles and Material Culture
    States and Economic Activity
    Exploring the Sources
    A Few Good Books

    CHAPTER 5 Global War and Imperial Reform 1655-1766
    Consolidating the Center: Modernizing Monarchies
    The Question of Control in the Atlantic Seaborne Empires
    Historians Explore Slavery, Resistance, and Survival
    World War Zero
    Exploring the Sources
    A Few Good Books

    CHAPTER 6 A New Order for the Ages 1762-1839
    The Reform Impulse
    Revolution and Reaction
    Historians Explore Haiti and the Age of Revolution
    New Challenges of Political Organization
    Exploring the Sources
    A Few Good Books

    CHAPTER 7 The Engines of Industrialization 1787-1868
    What Is Revolutionary about Industrialization?
    Historians Explore Industrialization in Comparative Perspective
    Life during the Industrial Revolution
    The Transformation of Global Power Relations
    Exploring the Sources
    A Few Good Books

    CHAPTER 8 Modernity Organized 1840-1893
    Reform versus Revolution
    Nation and Citizen in the Western Hemisphere
    Global Hierarchies Defined and Defied
    Historians Explore Archaeology, Museums, and the Hierarchy of Nations
    Exploring the Sources
    A Few Good Books

    CHAPTER 9 Globalization and Its Discontents 1869-1915
    The New Imperialism and Neocolonialism
    Historians Explore Solidarity and Resistance to Imperialism in Africa
    Sovereignty and Conflict in East Asia
    The Price of Progress in the Western Hemisphere
    Migration and Work, Empire and Nation
    Exploring the Sources
    A Few Good Books

    CHAPTER 10 Total War and Mass Society 1911-1933
    Total War: World War I and the Russian Revolution
    First Challenges of the Post-War World
    Political Paths through the 1920s
    Historians Explore Literature as Sources
    The Global Economy from the 1920s to the Great Depression
    Exploring the Sources
    A Few Good Books

    CHAPTER 11 The Ongoing Crisis of Global Order 1930-1957
    The Political and Economic Experiments of the 1930s
    The International Order Collapses
    Historians Explore Mass Media, Propaganda, and the Modern State
    Empire in the Shadow of Global War
    Exploring the Sources
    A Few Good Books

    CHAPTER 12 Hot Wars, Cold Wars, and Liberation Movements 1954-1991
    Economic Development: Three Worlds?
    Historians Explore Identities and Protest Movements
    The Late Cold War Era and Shifting Power Dynamics
    Exploring the Sources
    A Few Good Books

    CHAPTER 13 The Many Worlds of the Twenty-First Century 1987-2021
    The End of History and Its Quick Return
    Economic Integration
    Historians Explore Viral Images, Deep Fakes, and Historical Reasoning
    The Realities of the Biological New Regime
    Exploring the Sources
    A Few Good Books