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The Human Record: Sources of Global History, Volume I: To 1500, 8th Edition
THE HUMAN RECORD is the leading primary source reader for the World History course, providing balanced coverage of the global past. Each volume contains a blend of visual and textual sources that are often paired or grouped together for comparison, as in the Multiple Voices feature. A prologue entitled “Primary Sources and How to Read Them” appears in each volume and serves as a valuable pedagogical tool. Approximately one-third of the sources in the Eighth Edition are new, and these documents continue to reflect the myriad experiences of the peoples of the world.
the eighth edition of The Human Record: Sources of Global History follows the principles that have guided the book since its inception in 1990. Foremost is our commitment to the proposition that all students of history must meet the challenge of analyzing primary sources, thereby becoming active inquirers into the past. Working with primary source evidence enables students to see that historical scholarship is
an intellectual process of drawing inferences and discovering patterns from clues yielded by the past, not of memorizing someone else’s judgments. Furthermore, such analysis motivates students to learn by stimulating their curiosity and imagination, and it helps them develop into critical thinkers who are equipped to deal with the complex intellectual challenges of life.
Themes and Structure
We have compiled a source collection that traces the course of human history from the rise of the earliest civilizations to the present. Volume i follows the evolution of cultures that most significantly influenced the history of the world from around 3500 B.c.e. to 1500 c.e., with emphasis on the development of the major social, religious, intellectual, and political traditions of the societies that flourished in Eurasia and Africa. Although our focus in Volume i is on Afro-Eurasia, we do not neglect the Americas. Volume i concurrently develops the theme of the growing links and increasingly important exchanges among the world’s cultures down to the dawn of full globalization that began with the trans-oceanic travels of the Portuguese and Spaniards. Fittingly, its last two sources focus on some of the reasons behind and immediate consequences of these voyages. Volume ii, which begins in the 1400s, picks up this theme of growing human interconnectedness by tracing the gradual establishment of Western global hegemony; simultaneous historical developments in other civilizations and societies around the world; the anti-Western, anticolonial movements of the twentieth century; and the emergence of the twenty-first century’s
integrated but frequently divided world. to address these themes in the depth and breadth that they deserve, we have chosen primary sources that combine to present an overview of global history in
mosaic form. Each source serves two functions: it presents an intimate glimpse into some meaningful aspect of the human past and simultaneously contributes to the creation of a single large picture—an integrated history of the world. in selecting and arranging the pieces of our mosaic, we have sought to create a balanced picture of human history that reflects many different perspectives and experiences. Believing that the study of history properly concerns every aspect of past human activity and thought, we have chosen sources that mirror the practices and concerns of as wide a variety of representative persons and groups as availability and space allow. our pursuit of historical balance has also led us into the arena of artifactual evidence. Although most historians center their research on documents, the discipline of history requires us to consider all of the clues surrendered by the past, and these include its artifacts. Moreover, we have discovered that students enjoy analyzing artifacts, remember vividly the insights they draw from them, and are eager to discuss this evidence in class and among themselves. For these reasons, we have included works of art and other artifacts that users of this book can and should analyze as historical sources.