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10-08-2015, 15:15

PREFACE

The twentieth century was an era of paradox. When it began, Western civilization was a patchwork of squabbling states that bestrode the world like a colossus. As the century came to an end, the West was prosperous and increasingly united, yet there were signs that despite the recent financial crisis in Asia, global economic and political hegemony were beginning to shift to the East. The era of Western dominance had come to an end. It had been an era marked by war and revolution but also by rapid industrial growth and widespread economic prosperity, a time of growing interdependence but also of burgeoning ethnic and national consciousness, a period that witnessed the rising power of science but also fervent religiosity and growing doubts about the impact of technology on the human experience. Twentieth-Century World History attempts to chronicle the key events in this revolutionary century while seeking to throw light on some of the underlying issues that shaped the times. Did the beginning of a new millennium mark the end of the long period of Western dominance? If so, will recent decades of European and American superiority be followed by a “Pacific century” with economic and political power shifting to the nations of eastern Asia? Will the end of the Cold War lead to a “new world order” marked by global cooperation, or are we on the verge of an unstable era of ethnic and national conflict? Why was a time of unparalleled prosperity and technological advancement accompanied by deep pockets of poverty and widespread doubts about the role of government and the capabilities of human reason? Although this book does not promise final answers to such questions, it can provide a framework for analysis and a better understanding of some of the salient issues of modern times. A number of decisions must be made by any author sufficiently foolhardy to seek to encompass in a single volume the history of a turbulent century. First in importance is whether to present the topic as an integrated whole or to focus on individual cultures and societies. The world that we live in today is in many respects an interdependent one in terms of economics as well as culture and communications, a reality that is often expressed by the familiar phrase “global village.” At the same time, the process of globalization is by no means complete, as ethnic, religious, and regional differences continue to exist and to shape the course of our times. The tenacity of these differences is reflected not only in the rise of internecine conflicts in such divergent areas as Africa, South Asia, and Eastern Europe but also in the emergence in recent years of such regional organizations as the Organization of African Unity, the Association for the Southeast Asian Nations, and the European Economic Community. Political leaders in various parts of the world speak routinely (if sometimes wistfully) of “Arab unity,” the “African road to socialism,” and the “Confucian path to economic development.” A second problem is a practical one. College students today are all too often not well informed about the distinctive character of civilizations such as China, India, and sub-Saharan Africa. Without sufficient exposure to the historical evolution of such societies, students will assume all too readily that the peoples in these countries have had historical experiences similar to their own and respond to various stimuli in a similar fashion to those living in Western Europe or the United States. If it is a mistake to ignore the forces that link us together, it is equally erroneous to underestimate the factors that continue to divide us and to differentiate us into a world of diverse peoples. My response to this challenge has been to adopt an overall global approach to the history of the twentieth century while at the same time attempting to do justice to the distinctive character and recent development of individual civilizations and regions in the world. The opening chapters focus on issues that have a global impact, such as the Industrial Revolution, the era of imperialism, and the two world wars. Later chapters center on individual regions of the world, although one chapter is devoted to the international implications of the Cold War and its aftermath. The book is divided into five parts. The first four parts are each followed by a short section labeled “Reflections,” which attempts to link events in a broad comparative and global framework. The chapter in the fifth and final part examines some of the common problems of our time—including environmental pollution, the population explosion, and spiritual malaise—and takes a cautious look into the future to explore how such issues will evolve in the twenty-first century. Another issue that requires attention is the balance of the treatment of Western civilization and its counterparts in Asia and Africa. The modern world is often viewed essentially as the history of Europe and the Western Hemisphere, with other regions treated as appendages of the industrial countries. It is certainly true that much of the twentieth century was dominated by events in Europe and North America, and in recognition of this fact, the opening chapters focus primarily on issues related to the rise of the West, including the Industrial Revolution and the age of imperialism. In recent decades, however, other parts of the world have assumed greater importance, thus restoring a global balance that had existed prior to the scientific and technological revolution that transformed the West in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Later chapters examine this phenomenon, according to regions such as Africa, Asia, and Latin America the importance that they merit today. This book seeks balance in another area as well. Many textbooks tend to simplify the content of history courses by emphasizing an intellectual or political perspective or, most recently, a social perspective, often at the expense of providing sufficient details in a chronological framework. This approach is confusing to students whose high school social studies programs have often neglected a systematic study of world history. I have attempted to write a wellbalanced work in which political, economic, social, and cultural history have been integrated into a chronologically ordered synthesis. A strong narrative, linking key issues in a broad interpretive framework, is still the most effective way to present the story of the past to young minds. To enliven the text, I have included a number of boxed essays that explore key issues within each chapter, citing important works in the field, and boxed primary source documents in each chapter. Extensive maps and illustrations, each positioned at the appropriate place in the chapter, serve to deepen the reader’s understanding of the text. “Spot maps,” which provide details not visible in the larger maps, have been added to this edition. Redesigned timelines appear at the ends of the chapters, comparing chronological developments in parallel regions of the world. An annotated bibliography at the end of the book reviews the most recent literature on each period while referring also to some of the older “classical” works in the field. The following supplements are available for instructors’ use: • Instructor’s Resource CD-ROM with ExamView— includes the Instructor’s Manual, ExamView computerized testing, and PowerPoint® slides with lecture outlines and images that can be used as offered or customized by importing personal lecture slides or other material. ExamView allows users to create, deliver, and customize tests and study guides (both print and online) in minutes. • Transparency Acetates for World History—includes over one hundred full-color maps from the text and other sources. • Book Companion Web Site (http://history.wadsworth. com/duiker_20th03/)—provides chapter-by-chapter resources for this textbook for both instructors and students, as well as access to the Wadsworth History Resource Center. Text-specific content for students includes interactive maps, interactive timelines, tutorial quizzes, glossary, hyperlinks, InfoTrac® exercises, and Internet activities. Instructors also have access to the Instructor’s Manual, lesson plans, and PowerPoint slides (access code required). From the home page, instructors and students can access many selections, such as an Internet Guide for History, a career center, simulations, movie activities, the World History image bank, and links to a wealth of primary-source documents. I would like to express my appreciation to the reviewers who have read individual chapters and provided me with useful suggestions for improvement: George Esenwein, University of Florida; Richard Follett, Covenant College; James Harrison, Siena College; George Kosar, Bentley College/Tufts University; Arlene Lazarowitz, California State University—Long Beach; Steven Leibo, SUNY Albany; Constance McGovern, Frostburg State University; Marco Rimanelli, St. Leo University; Mark Rosenberg, Bentley College; Todd Shepard, Oklahoma University; and Dmitry Shlapentokh, Indiana University, South Bend. Jackson Spielvogel, who is coauthor of our textbook World History (now in its fourth edition), has been kind enough to permit me to use some of his sections in that book for the purposes of writing this one. Several of my other colleagues at Penn State—including Kumkum Chatterjee, On-cho Ng, and Arthur F. Goldschmidt— have provided me with valuable assistance in understanding parts of the world that are beyond my own area of concentration. To Clark Baxter, whose unfailing good humor, patience, and sage advice have so often eased the trauma of textbook publishing, I offer my heartfelt thanks. I am also grateful to Sue Gleason and Kim Adams of Wadsworth Publishing, and to Amy Guastello, for their assistance in bringing this project to fruition, and to John Orr of Orr Book Services for production. For this edition, ImageQuest has been helpful in obtaining images for this book. Finally, I am eternally grateful to my wife, Yvonne V. Duiker, Ph.D. Her research and her written contributions on art, architecture, literature, and music have added sparkle to this book. Her presence at my side has added immeasurable sparkle to my life. William J. Duiker The Pennsylvania State University

 

 

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