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World in the Making

A Global History, Volume One: To 1500

Bonnie G. Smith, Marc Van De Mieroop, Richard von Glahn, and Kris Lane

Publication Date - August 2018

ISBN: 9780190849238

688 pages
7-1/2 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $64.99

Balances coverage of global and local histories to show the interactions of the world's peoples over time and space


Featuring a renowned author team and the best recent scholarship, World in the Making: A Global History is the first world history text to explore both the global and local dimensions of world history. Abundant full-color maps and images, along with other special pedagogical features that highlight the lives and voices of the world's peoples, make this new synthesis accessible and memorable for students--all at an affordable low price.


  • Lives and Livelihoods features reinforce the book's superior social and cultural coverage and unique global/local approach
  • Counterpoint sections reveal that alternative histories have always existed alongside "master narratives"
  • Reading the Past and Seeing the Past features provide direct exposure to important voices and ideas of the past through written and visual primary sources
  • Opening vignettes draw students into the atmosphere of the period and introduce the chapter's main themes
  • Backstory sections remind students of where they last encountered the peoples discussed in the chapter
  • Overview Questions frame the main issues to consider while reading, while Focus Questions guide students' comprehension and promote close reading and dynamic class discussion

About the Author(s)

Bonnie G. Smith is Board of Governors Distinguished Professor of History Emerita at Rutgers University.

Marc Van De Mieroop is Professor of History at Columbia University.

Richard von Glahn is Professor of History at University of California, Los Angeles.

Kris Lane is the France Vinton Scholes Chair in Colonial Latin American History at Tulane University.


"World in the Making offers a true 'people's history,' retelling the stories of all of the world's people in a lively and manageable synthesis. While maintaining the important aspects of political and economic history of key civilizations, the text also focuses on the histories of ordinary people--including women and children--bringing its narrative more into line with recent scholarship. This emphasis on people who have been left out of world history is highlighted with extraordinary clarity in the 'Counterpoint' section in each chapter."--Rick Warner, Wabash College, past president of the World History Association

"Often, world history textbooks analyze the past using a top-down approach, emphasizing political and military history, and paying most attention to 'great men' in history. One of the exceptional strengths of World in the Making is its focus on cultural and social history and its analysis of social hierarchies based on gender, race, and class."--Kris Alexanderson, University of the Pacific

"This is a terrific book that is conceptually strong and helps students to understand the world we live in today. It is especially effective in weaving together the stories of men and women of different races and classes throughout the narrative."--Nancy Fitch, California State University at Fullerton

"World in the Making offers a compelling use of major world history themes. Its innovative focus interweaves various peoples and cultures seamlessly throughout the text. The diverse array of peoples embedded within each chapter helps students see larger historical patterns and introduces them to potentially unknown cultures."--Rebecca Hayes, Northern Virginia Community College

Table of Contents

    List of Maps
    Studying with Maps
    Special Features
    Note on Dates and Spelling
    About the Authors

    Part 1: The Ancient World, from Human Origins to 500 C.E.

    1: Peopling the World, to 4000 B.C.E.
    Human Origins
    Evolution of the Human Species
    Out of Africa
    Paleolithic Food Gatherers 2,000,000-9000 B.C.E.
    The Gatherer-Hunter Economy
    Life in Palaeolithic Communities
    The First Neolithic Farmers 9000-4000 B.C.E
    The Origins of Agriculture
    Life in Neolithic Communities
    COUNTERPOINT Gatherer-Hunters by Choice: Aborigines of Australia
    Understanding the History of Aborigines
    A Lifestyle in Harmony with the Natural World
    The Conscious Choice to Gather and Hunt
    Religious Life and Social Organization

    Conclusion | Review

    Special Features:
    Seeing the Past:
    Paleolithic Statuettes of Women
    Saharan Rock Art
    Lives and Livelihoods:
    The People of Catal Höyük

    2: Temples and Palaces: Birth of the City 5000-1200 B.C.E.
    Origins of Urban Society: Mesopotamia 5000-3200 B.C.E.
    The Environmental Challenge
    Irrigation and Its Impact
    The First Cities 3200-1600 B.C.E.
    The Power of the Temple
    The Might of the Palace
    The New Order of Society
    City Life and Learning
    The Invention of Writing
    The Expansion of Knowledge
    The First International Order 1600-1200 B.C.E.
    From City-States to Territorial States in the Eastern Mediterranean
    International Relations
    Kings and Commoners: An Unequal System
    COUNTERPOINT Egypt's Distinct Path to Statehood
    Egypt's Geography and Early History
    Egyptian Ideology of Kingship
    The New Culture of Statehood

    Conclusion | Review

    Special Features
    Seeing the Past:
    The Uruk Vase
    Reading the Past:
    Royal Inscriptions from Early Mesopotamia
    Lives and Livelihoods:
    The Pyramid Builders of the Pharaohs

    3. Settlers and Migrants: The Creation of States in Asia 5000-500 B.C.E.
    Early Agricultural Societies of South and East Asia 5000 - 1000 B.C.E.
    Settled Farmers of the River Valleys
    Nomadic Herders of the Steppe
    The Indus Valley Culture 2600 -1900 B.C.E.
    Urban Society in the Indus Valley
    Harappan Crafts and Long-Distance Trade
    The End of the Indus Valley Culture
    The Indo-Europeans, 3000-1000 B.C.E.
    Indo-European Languages
    Indo-European Migrations
    Indo-European Speakers and Eurasian History
    India's Vedic Age
    Vedic Origins
    Rise of a New Society: Families, Clans, and Castes
    Vedic Religion
    Developments in Vedic Ideas
    The Early Chinese Dynasties
    Re-Creating Early China: Literary Traditions and the Archaelogical Record
    The Growth of States 2000-1570 B.C.E.
    The Shang Dynasty and the Consolidation of Power 1570-1027 B.C.E.
    The Early Zhou Dynasty and the Extension of Power 1027-771 B.C.E.
    COUNTERPOINT The Oxus People: A Short-Lived Culture in Central Asia 2100-1700 B.C.E.

    Conclusion | Review

    Special Features
    Seeing the Past:
    Inscribed Seals from the Indus Valley
    Lives and Livelihoods:
    Chinese Diviners
    Reading the Past:
    The Book of Songs

    4. Empire and Resistance in the Mediterranean, 1550-330 B.C.E.
    Imperial Egypt and Nubia 1550 B.C.E-350 C.E.
    The Imperial Might of New Kingdom Egypt 1550-1070 B.C.E.
    Nubia's Rise and Rule of Egypt 1000-660 B.C.E.
    The Nubian Kingdom of Meroe 400 B.C.E.-350 C.E.
    Rise and Fall of the Assyrian Empire 900-612 B.C.E.
    Assyria: A Society as War Machine
    Imperial Governance
    Imperial Subjects: Israel and Judah in the Assyrian Empire
    Culture and Identity in the Assyrian Empire
    Failure of the Assyrian System
    The Persian Empire 550-330 B.C.E.
    The Course of Empire
    Administering a Multicultural Empire
    Zoroastrianism in a Polytheistic World
    COUNTERPOINT On the Edge of Empire: The People of Ancient Greece, 800-500 B.C.E.
    Greek Colonization of the Mediterranean, 800-500 B.C.E.
    Growth of the City-State in Early Greece, 800-500 B.C.E.
    Struggle Between Persia and Greece 500-479 B.C.E.
    The Peloponnesian War and the End of the Athenian Supremacy 431-404 B.C.E.

    Conclusion | Review

    Special Features
    Seeing the Past:
    The Queen of Meroe in Battle
    Lives and Livelihoods:
    Mesopotamian Astronomers
    Reading the Past:
    Pericles Praises the Democratic Ideal

    5. Peoples and World Empires of Eurasia: 500 B.C.E.-500 C.E.
    India: Thinkers, Traders, and Courtly Cultures 500 B.C.E. -500 C.E.
    Religious Ferment: The Rise of Jainism, Buddhism, and Hinduism
    Unity and Fragmentation: The Mauryan and Gupta Empires
    A Crossroads of Trade
    Literary and Scientific Flowering
    China's First Empires: The Qin and Han Dynasties 221 B.C.E. - 220 C.E.
    Intellectual Churning: Confucians, Daoists, and Legalists
    Unification and Centralization: The Worlds of Qin and Han
    Preserving and Spreading the Written Word
    Greece: Intellectuals and Innovators 500-30 B.C.E.
    Athens's Golden Age
    Hellenism: The Expansion of Greek Ideals and Institutions, 323-30 B.C.E.
    COUNTERPOINT The Celtic Peoples of the Atlantic Zone
    Who Were the Celts?
    Celtic Ways of Life
    Contacts with the Mediterranean

    Conclusion | Review

    Special Features
    Reading the Past:
    Women in Han China
    Lives and Livelihoods:
    Philosophers of Athens's Golden Age
    Seeing the Past:
    The Vix Crater: A Greek Vessel in Northern France

    6. The Unification of Western Eurasia: 500 B.C.E.-500 C.E.
    Rome: A Republican Center of Power 500-27 B.C.E.
    From Village to World Empire
    Society and Politics in the Republic
    Failure of the Republic
    Rome: The Empire 27 B.C.E.-212 C.E.
    Emperors and Armies
    The Provincial System and the Diffusion of Roman Culture
    Christianity: From Jewish Sect to Imperial Religion
    Religions in the Roman Empire
    Christianity's Spread Outside the Jewish Community
    Toward a State Religion
    Institutionalization of the Christian Church
    Transformation of the Roman Empire 200-500 C.E.
    Division Between East and West
    Economic Strains and Social Tensions
    Collapse in the West and Revitalization in the East
    COUNTERPOINT Rome's Iranian Rivals in the Middle East
    The Parthians 247 B.C.E - 224 C.E.
    The Sasanids 224-651 C.E.
    A Tapestry of Cultures and Religions

    Conclusion | Review

    Special Features
    Lives and Livelihoods:
    Roman Engineers
    Seeing the Past:
    The Augustan Cameo Gem
    Reading the Past:
    A Young Woman Laments Her Premature Death

    7. Reading the Unwritten Record: Peoples of Africa, the Americas, and the Pacific Islands 3000 B.C.E.-500 C.E.
    Peoples of Sub-Saharan Africa
    Early Hunters and Herders
    Bantu Migrations
    Peoples of the Americas
    The Olmecs 1200-400 B.C.E.
    The Early Maya
    Andrean Peoples 900 B.C.E.-600 C.E.
    Gatherer-Hunters of North America 800 B.C.E. - 400 C.E.
    Peoples of the Pacific Islands
    Agricultural Livelihoods
    Peopling the Islands
    COUNTERPOINT The Voiced and Voiceless in Ancient Literate Societies
    Uses of the Written Record
    The Voiceless Many

    Conclusion | Review

    Special Features
    Lives and Livelihoods:
    Potters of Antiquity
    Reading the Past
    The La Mojarra Stele
    Seeing the Past
    Early Maya Frescoes

    Part 2: Crossroads and Cultures, 500 -1450 C.E.

    8. The Worlds of Christianity and Islam 400-1000

    Multiple Christianities
    The Christian Church in Byzantium
    Christianity in Asia and Africa
    Christian Communities in Western Europe
    Social and Political Renewal in the Post-Roman World 400-850
    Crisis and Survival of the Byzantine Empire
    The Germanic Successor States in Western Europe
    Economic Contraction and Renewal in Christendom
    Origins of the Slavs and the Founding of Rus
    The Rise and Spread of Islam
    The Prophet Muhammad and the Faith of Islam
    The Islamic Empire of the Umayyad Caliphs 661-743
    From Unified Caliphate to Islamic Commonwealth
    Rise of the Abbasid Caliphs
    Rise of the Religious Scholars
    Collapse of the Unified Caliphate
    COUNTERPOINT The Norse Vikings: The New Barbarians
    The Viking Raids 790-1020
    Norse Emigration and Colonization

    Conclusion | Review

    Special Features
    Seeing the Past:
    Mary as Mother of God
    Lives and Livelihoods:
    Constantinople's Silk Producers
    Reading the Past:
    Women and Property in Islam

    9. Religion and Cross-Cultural Exchange in Asia
    Steppe Peoples and Settled Societies of Central Asia
    Nomad Conquerors of China: The Northern Wei 386-534
    Rise of the Turks
    A Turkic Khanate in the West: The Khazars
    The Shaping of East Asia
    The Chinese Transformation of Buddhism
    Reunification of the Chinese Empire: The Sui Dynasty 581-618
    The Power of Tang China 618-907
    China and Its Neighbors
    The Consolidation of Hindu Society in India
    Land and Wealth
    Devotional Worship in Hinduism
    New Economic and Social Trends
    Court Society and Culture
    The Spread of Indian Traditions to Southeast Asia
    Commerce and Religious Change in Southeast Asia
    Religion and State Power
    Indian Religions in Southeast Asia: A Summing-up
    COUNTERPOINT Sogdian Traders in Central Asia and China
    A Robust Commercial Economy

    Conclusion | Review

    Special Features
    Lives and Livelihoods
    Tea Drinkers in Tang China
    Reading the Past
    A Copper-Plate Land Grant
    Seeing the Past
    Borobudur, the World'd Largest Buddhist Monument

    10. Societies and Networks in the Americas and the Pacific 300-1200
    The Classical Age of Mesoamerica and Its Aftermath
    Political Power and Ideology in Mesoamerica
    The City-State of Teotihuacán
    The Maya City-State Network
    The Passing of Mesoamerica's Classical Age
    City and State Building in the Andean Region
    States and Societies in the Coastal Lowlands
    States and Societies in the Andean Highlands
    Agrarian Societies in North America
    Pueblo Societies in the Southwestern Deserts
    Mound-Building Societies in the Eastern Woodlands
    Habitat and Adaptation in the Pacific Islands
    Polynesian Expansion
    Subsistence and Survival in the Pacific Islands
    COUNTERPOINT Social Complexity in Bougainville
    Bougainville's Diverse Peoples
    The Historical Roots of Social Difference

    Conclusion | Review
    Special Features
    Reading the Past:
    Maya Hero Twins Vanquish the Lords of the Underworld
    Seeing the Past:
    Images of Power in Tiwanaku Art
    Lives and Livelihoods:
    The North American Mound Builders

    11. The Rise of Commerce in Afro-Eurasia 900-1300
    Agricultural Innovation and Diffusion
    Retrenchment and Renewal in Europe and Byzantium
    Agricultural Transformation in the Islamic World
    Rice Economies in Monsoon Asia
    Industrial Growth and the Money Economy
    Technological Change and Industrial Enterprise
    Expanding Circulation of Money
    Credit and the Invention of Paper Money
    Merchants and Trade Networks in Afro-Eurasia
    Merchant Partnerships and Long-Distance Trade
    Merchants and Rulers
    Maritime Traders in the Indian Ocean
    Trans-Saharan Traders
    Mediterranean and European Traders
    COUNTERPOINT Production, Tribute, and Trade in the Hawaiian Islands
    Settlement and Agriculture
    Exchange and Social Hierarchy

    Conclusion | Review

    Special Features
    Seeing the Past:
    Imitation and Innovation in Islamic Coinage
    Reading the Past:
    A Chinese Official's Reflections on Managing Family Property
    Lives and Livelihoods:
    The Mande Blacksmiths

    12. Centers of Learning and the Transmission of Culture 900-1300
    Church and Universities in Latin Christendom
    Monastic Learning and Culture
    The Rise of Universities
    Vernacular Language and Literature
    Students and Scholars in Islamic Societies
    The Rise of Mandrasas
    Sufi Mysticism and Sunni Orthodoxy
    Oral and Written Cultures in Islam
    The Cosmopolitan and Vernacular Realms in India and Southeast Asia
    The Cosmopolitan Realm of Sanscrit
    Rival States and Regional Identity
    Sufism and Society in the Delhi Sultanate
    Learning, Schools, and Print Culture in East Asia
    Civil Service Examinations and Schooling in Song China
    The Culture of Print in Song China
    Classical and Vernacular Traditions in East Asia
    COUNTERPOINT Writing and Political Power in Mesoamerica
    Mesoamerican Languages: Time, History, and Rulership
    The Legacy of Mesoamerican Languages

    Conclusion | Review

    Special Features
    Lives and Livelihoods:
    Medical Professionals of Latin Christendom
    Seeing the Past:
    A Revolution in Islamic Calligraphy \
    Reading the Past:
    Lady Murasaki on Her Peers Among Women Writers

    13. Crusaders, Mongols, and Eurasian Integration 1050-1350
    The Crusades and the Imperial Papacy 1050-1350
    The Papal Monarchy
    The Crusades 1095-1291
    Papal Supremacy and the Christian People
    The Making of Christian Euroep 1100-1350
    The Reconquest of Spain 1085-1248
    Christianizing Eastern Europe 1150-1350
    The Mongol World-Empire 1100-1368
    Rise of the Mongols
    Creation and Division of the Mongol Empire 1206-1259
    Qubilai Khan and the Yuan Empire in China 1260-1368
    The Mongol Khanates and the Islamic World 1240-1350
    Mongol Rule in Iran and Mesopotamia
    The Golden Horde and the Rise of Muscovy
    Retrenchment in the Islamic World: The Mamluk and Ottoman States
    COUNTERPOINT The "New Knighthood" of the Christian Military Orders
    The Templar Model and the Crusading Movement
    The Teutonic Knights and Christian Expansion in Eastern Europe

    Conclusion | Review

    Special Features
    Reading the Past:
    A Muslim Courtier's Encounters with the Franks
    Seeing the Past:
    The Mappaemundi of Latin Christendom
    Lives and Livelihoods:
    Mongol Women in the Household Economy and Public Life

    14. Collapse and Revival in Afro-Eurasia 1300-1450
    Fourteenth-Century Crisis and Renewal in Eurasia
    The "Great Mortality": The Black Death of 1347-1350
    Rebuilding Societies in Western Europe 1350-1492
    Ming China and the New Order in East Asia 1368-1500
    Islam's New Frontiers
    Islamic Spiritual Ferment in Central Asia 1350-1500
    Ottoman Expansion and the Fall of Constantinople 1353-1453
    Commerce and Culture in Islamic West Africa
    Advance of Islam Maritime Southeast Asia
    The Global Bazaar
    Economic Prosperity and Maritime Trade in Asia 1350-1450
    China's Overseas Overture: The Voyages of Zheng He 1405-1433
    Commerce and Culture in the Renaissance
    COUNTERPOINT Age of the Samurai in Japan 1185-1450
    "The Low Overturning the High"
    The New Warrior Order

    Conclusion | Review

    Special Features
    Reading the Past:
    A Spanish Ambassador's Description of Samarkand
    Lives and Livelihoods:
    Urban Weavers in India
    Seeing the Past:
    Leonardo da Vinci's Virgin on the Rocks

    Part 3: The Early Modern World, 1450-1750

    15. Empires and Alternatives in the Americas 1430-1530

    Many Native Americas
    Tributes of Blood: The Aztec Empire 1325-1521
    Humble Origins, Imperial Ambitions
    Enlarging and Supplying the Capital
    Holy Terror: Aztec Rule, Religion, and Warfare
    Daily Life Under the Aztecs
    The Limits of Holy Terror
    Tributes of Sweat: The Inca Empire 1430-1532
    From Potato Farmers to Empire Builders
    The Great Apparatus: Inca Expansion and Religion
    Daily Life Under the Incas
    The Great Apparatus Breaks Down
    COUNTERPOINT The Peoples of North America's Eastern Woodland s 1450-1530

    Conclusion | Review

    Special Features
    Seeing the Past:
    An Aztec Map of Tenochtitlán
    Lives and Livelihoods:
    The Aztec Midwife
    Reading the Past:
    An Andean Creation Story

    Art Credits
    Text Credits

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