Conditions of Use
"World History Since 1500: An Open and Free Textbook," by John Rankin and Constanze Weise is an ideal textbook for those who want a very concise work of the important aspects of modern world history but want to include links to additional primary... read more
"World History Since 1500: An Open and Free Textbook," by John Rankin and Constanze Weise is an ideal textbook for those who want a very concise work of the important aspects of modern world history but want to include links to additional primary and secondary sources. There is no index or glossary, however.
This content is very accurate and I did not see any errors or noticeable bias.
The textbook is up to date. The work, itself, concludes with the evacuation of American troops from Iraq in 2011 but there is also a summary concluding paragraph that looks at the thirty years after the Cold War. This will be fairly easy to update by including further subheadings at the end of the book as needed.
First-year world history students will find this to be very readable. Terms are defined naturally within the text, but unnecessary jargon is avoided. There are very helpful summaries of important historical terms such as Shintoism and the Great Wall of China that we see in chapter three: "Cultural Encounters
and Expanding Empires in Asia and Eurasia, 1500-1700." It would, however, help to have a glossary. for easy access in one place to alphabetically placed terms with their definitions.
The text is written with simple straightforward prose throughout. The framework of themes and contributions appears to be consistent throughout the text. There is a consistent inlay of helpful pictures, the occasional primary source, and maps throughout.
The text is written such that many smaller sections may be assigned when needed throughout the course. Subheadings appear often. In specific, first-year general education students will never find the reading of this to be onerous.
The text's organization will be familiar to those who use concise world history textbooks. There will be no surprises. The flow of the textbook is broken up with numerous subheadings. This would only be a problem if one is looking for a larger more comprehensive narrative.
There are no interface issues. The book is easy to navigate and all pictures and maps appear quickly. There are no distortions. Images are in color and are visually appealing.
I could find no grammatical errors.
The text is culturally sensitive. It is a true world history textbook that is global in nature. There is a clear balance between the histories of Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas. Formerly marginalized voices are sensitively presented and explained. An excellent example of this is in chapter two, "Expanding Empires, Europe and the Americas, 1500-1700," where we see an inset entitled: "AFRO-CARIBBEAN RELIGIONS – SANTERIA AND CANDOMBLÉ IN THE AFRICAN DIASPORA." This includes a beautiful picture of members of the Candombles religion in procession in the city of Salvador, Brazil.
I enjoyed reading this text. I tend to like to use concise textbooks and then I will include extra readings. I found this work by Rankin and Weise to be very helpful.
Table of Contents
- Author Biographies
- Table of Contents
- Chapter 1: The World in 1500
- Chapter 2: Expanding Empires, Europe and the Americas 1500-1700
- Chapter 3: Cultural Encounters and Expanding Empires in Asia and Eurasia 1500-1700
- Chapter 4: Islamic Empires - Mughals, Ottomans and Safavids 1500-1700
- Chapter 5: Age of Reason - The Scientific Revolution, Enlightened Thought and its Impact
- Chapter 6: Challenging the Old Order - The Age of Revolutions
- Chapter 7: Remaking the World - The Industrial Revolution, Workers and a New Economic Order
- Chapter 8: Nation Building and Reform 1700-1900
- Chapter 9: Managing Modernity in Asia 1700-1900
- Chapter 10: The Second Wave of Imperialism 1700-1900
- Chapter 11: World in Crisis, Conflict, and the Struggle for Independence - World War I, the Indian Independence Movement and the Russian Revolution
- Chapter 12: Interwar Years and the Rise of Fascism
- Chapter 13: World War II
- Chapter 14: Cold War and Decolonization of the World from 1950
- Chapter 15: The Modern World
Ancillary MaterialSubmit ancillary resource
About the Book
World History Since 1500: An Open and Free Textbook is designed to cover world history from 1500 to the present in 15 chapters. The OER-supported textbook can be downloaded as a pdf or viewed online. The textbook serves to weave insights from many perspectives into stories and narratives that will help students develop a framework to organize and connect ideas, geographical locations, and timelines allowing them to think critically and broadly about the world around them. In addition to helping students master the sequence and scope of world history from 1500, the textbook helps develop empathy for people who live and lived in different parts of the world and during different historical times leading to the creation of empathic and knowledgeable global citizens who are aware of and concerned about the world around them.
About the Contributors
John Rankin is an Associate Professor in the Department of History at East Tennessee State University. His interests lie in the overlapping themes of imperialism, transnational and global studies, issues of race and racism and the social history of medicine. His monograph, Healing the African Body (University of Missouri Press, 2015) examines the intersection of health, race, and empire in British West Africa, 1800-1860. His research interests also include the Atlantic World, British history, public health, the press and the history of epidemic disease. He teaches courses in the history of medicine as well as English, Scottish, Caribbean and World history.
Constanze Weise is an Assistant Professor in the Department of History at East Tennessee State University. Her interests lie in the History of Africa and the African Diaspora pertaining to issues of politics, religion, ritual and urbanization. Her work has appeared in peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes such as African Arts, The Canadian Journal of African Studies, the Oxford Handbook of Nigerian History and the Oxford Encyclopedia of African Historiography: Methods and Sources. In 2010 she participated in the internationally touring exhibition curated by the UCLA Fowler Museum and the Musée du quai Branly, Paris, titled “Central Nigeria Unmasked: Arts of the Benue River Valley”. She contributed to this exhibition with original video footage and images of ancestral masquerades from her field research in central Nigeria. At ETSU she teaches courses in the history of Africa, the African Diaspora and World History.