World History in Documents: A Comparative Reader

Front Cover
Peter N. Stearns
NYU Press, Apr 15, 2008 - History - 640 pages

While world history materials date back to prehistoric times, the field itself is relatively young. Indeed, when the first edition of Peter Stearns’s best-selling World History in Documents was published in 1998, world history was poised for explosive growth, with the College Board approving the AP world history curriculum in 2000, and the exam shortly thereafter. At the university level, survey world history courses are increasingly required for history majors, and graduate programs in world history are multiplying in the U.S. and overseas.

World events have changed as rapidly as the field of world history itself, making the long-awaited second edition of World History in Documents especially timely. In addition to including a new preface, focusing on current trends in the field, Stearns has updated forty percent of the textbook, paying particular attention to global processes throughout history. The book also covers key events that have altered world history since the publication of the first edition, including terrorism, global consumerism, and environmental issues.


What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

This book is quite dense with no relevant information. Students are able to watch a 10 minutes history lesson rather than ever read this book. All my students hate this book, with a passion. AS a teacher, the answers would have been nice to have as well.

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

As a teacher of an advanced placement course, I would say that this book jurassically chnaged the behavior of my students.They seemed to have liked me at first, and now they won’t make eye contact at the least. Nobody wants me to give extra credit anymore, nobody wants any grade at all because of this inhumane depression caused by this book. My wife can’t even be in the same room as me anymore because of the intense pain i have inflicted upon these children. They do not deserve this. World History should be a course that allows students to reach into the past and connect their lives with the lives of others. So please, save your relationships now and do not purchase this book.  

All 8 reviews »


The Postclassical Period 4501450
The Early Modern Period 14501750
The Long Nineteenth Century
The Contemporary Period 1914Present
About the Editor

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2008)

Peter N. Stearns is Provost and University Professor at George Mason University. Since 1967, he has served as editor-in-chief of The Journal of Social History.His numerous books include World History in Documents;American Behavioral History;and Anxious Parents.

Bibliographic information