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A Concise Survey of Western Civilization

Supremacies and Diversities throughout History, Combined Volume, Second Edition

Brian A. Pavlac

This lively text offers a brief, readable description of our common Western heritage. Providing a tightly focused narrative and interpretive structure, Brian A. Pavlac covers the basic historical information that all educated adults should know. His joined terms “supremacies and diversities” develop major themes of conflict and creativity throughout history. “Supremacies” centers on the use of power to dominate societies, ranging from warfare to ideologies. Supremacy seeks stability, order, and incorporation. “Diversities” encompasses the creative impulse that produces new ideas, as well as the efforts of groups of people to define themselves as “different.” Diversity creates change, opportunity, and individuality.

These themes of historical tension and change—whether applied to political, economic, technological, social, or cultural trends—offer a bridging explanatory organization. The text is also informed by five topical themes: technological innovation, migration and conquest, political and economic decision making, church and state, and disputes about the meaning of life. Throughout, judicious “basic principles” present summaries of historical realities and primary source projects offer students the chance to evaluate differing points of view about the past. Written with flair, this easily accessible yet deeply knowledgeable text provides all the essentials for courses on Western Civilization.
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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 528Size: 7 1/2 x 10 1/4
978-1-4422-3766-7 • Hardback • February 2015 • $100.00 • (£70.00)
978-1-4422-3767-4 • Paperback • February 2015 • $49.00 • (£32.95)
978-1-4422-3768-1 • eBook • February 2015 • $46.00 • (£31.95)
Brian A. Pavlac is the Herve A. LeBlanc Distinguished Service Professor and chair of the Department of History at King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
Brief Contents
List of Diagrams, Figures, Maps, Primary Source Projects, Tables, and Timelines
How to Use This Book

Chapter One: History’s Story
There’s Method
What Is Truth?
Primary Source Project 1: Voltaire versus Macaulay
Chapter Two: Wanderers and Settlers: The Ancient Middle East to 400 BC
The Apes’ Cousins
Bound to the Soil
The Price of Civilization
The Rise and Fall of Practically All Middle Eastern Empires
Primary Source Project 2: Xenophon versus Herodorus
Chapter Three: The Chosen People: Hebrews and Jews, 2000 BC to AD 135
Between and under Empires
The Tie That Binds
Primary Source Project 3: Prophecy of Micah versus Prophecy of Joel
Chapter Four: Trial of the Hellenes: The Ancient Greeks, 1200 BC to AD 146
To the Sea
The Political Animal
The Cultural Conquest
Primary Source Project 4: The Melian Dialogue
Chapter Five: Imperium Romanum: The Romans, 753 BC to AD 300
World Conquest in Self-Defense
The Price of Power
The Absolutist Solution
The Roads to Knowledge
Primary Source Project 5: Galgacus versus Agricola
Chapter Six: The Revolutionary Rabbi: Christianity, the Roman Empire, and Islam, 4 BC to AD 1253
The Son of Man
The Cultural War
Roma Delenda Est
Struggle for the Realm of Submission
Primary Source Project 6: Paul versus Pliny and Trajan
Chapter Seven: From Old Rome to the New West: The Early Middle Ages, AD 500 to 1000
Goths in the Garden
Charles in Charge
The Cavalry to the Rescue
Primary Source Project 7: Bad Bishops versus Benedict
Chapter Eight: The Medieval Mêlée: The High and Later Middle Ages, 1000 to 1500
Return of the Kings
Discipline and Domination
Plenty of Papal Power
The Age of Faith and Reason
A New Estate
Not the End of the World
Primary Source Project 8: Gregory VII versus Henry IV
Chapter Nine: Making the Modern World: The Renaissance and Reformation, 1400 to 1648

The Purse of Princes
Man as the Measure
Heaven Knows
Fatal Beliefs
God, Greed, and Glory
Primary Source Project 9: Witch Hunter versus Montaigne
Chapter Ten: Liberation of Mind and Body: Early Modern Europe, 1543 to 1815
Lost in the Stars
From the Salons to the Streets
The State Is He (or She)
(Prosperous) People Power
The Declaration of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity
Blood and Empires
Primary Source Project 10: Declaration of the Rights of Man versus Declaration of the Rights of Woman
Chapter Eleven: Mastery of the Machine: The Industrial Revolution, 1764 to 1914
Facts of Factories
Life in the Jungle
Cleaning Up the Mess
For the Workers
The Machinery of Nature
Primary Source Project 11: Smiles versus Owen
Chapter Twelve: The Westerner’s Burden: Imperialism and Nationalism, 1810 to 1918
‘‘New and Improved’’ Imperialism
From Sea to Shining Sea
Nationalism’s Curse
The Balkan Cauldron
The Great War
Primary Source Project 12: ‘‘In Flanders Fields’’ versus ‘‘Dulce et Decorum Est’’
Chapter Thirteen: Rejections of Democracy: The Interwar Years and World War II, 1917 to 1945
Decline of the West?
Russians in Revolt
Losing Their Grip
Fascist Fury
Hitler’s Hatreds
The Roads to Global War
Primary Source Project 13: Hitler versus Franklin D. Roosevelt
Chapter Fourteen: A World Divided: The Early Cold War, 1945 to 1980
From Friends to Foes
Making Money
To the Brink, Again and Again
Letting Go and Holding On
American Hegemon
The Uneasy Understanding
Primary Source Project 14: Khrushchev versus Nixon
Chapter Fifteen: Into the Future: The Contemporary Era, 1980 to the Present
A Surprise Ending
Searching for Stability
Different Folks
Haves and Cannots
Values of Violence
Primary Source Project 15: The European Central Bank versus the National Front

Epilogue: Why Western Civilization?
Common Abbreviations
Suggested Readings
About the Author
Exceptionally well-written, engaging, and accessible. . . . Pavlac includes useful diagrams and charts throughout. . . that break down complex information into visual and easy-to-digest parts. . . . Perhaps the most important attribute of A Concise History of Western Civilization is that this is a text that students would actually read and understand. For many history professors, the first and most fundamental struggle is getting students to read and furthermore to read critically. Thus, the fact that the book is one that students will read, become engaged with, and understand makes it a valuable resource to teachers of Western Civilization. (Previous Edition Praise)
Teaching History: A Journal of Methods

Written with the skill of a novelist, this book guides the reader step by step through the process of what a historian thinks, does, and interprets. Chapter content establishes the foundation for each future chapter with carefully selected questions, key word definitions, and ideas in bold type. This is the best-written textbook on Western civilization that I have had the pleasure to read in thirty-five years of teaching. (Previous Edition Praise)
William A. Paquette, Tidewater Community College

The book’s conciseness and reasonable cost are very attractive. For a single-semester course that spans the three millennia, I preferred this book to competing texts, which are just too long, with too many ‘facts.’ Pavlac’s writing is also a plus. His informal tone and his skillful movement from paragraph to paragraph give his work a readability that my students like very much. (Previous Edition Praise)
Robert Good, Mercer University

This book is the way to go for a one-semester course: a text that’s full, but not dense. It’s well-informed and intelligently written, yet still accessible. The big-picture approach combined with guided questions keep students on track, while the writing is lively, anecdotal, and illustrative—a nice balance of the forest and trees. The concise nature of the text makes it particularly suitable for online or condensed semesters.
Christopher M. Bellitto, Kean University

I liked the first edition, and I love the second. Concise, clear, with lively text, this new edition adds useful primary sources while retaining the strengths of the earlier edition. Brian Pavlac does an exceptional job in demonstrating to students how historians work, while providing them the tools to begin their own forays into the thickets of history.
Judith Travers, Suffolk County Community College

Affordably priced

Available as one concise volume or two briefer volumes, divided at 1500

Conceived as a seamless brief overview, not artificially boiled down from a lengthier text

Provides a strong narrative paired with a cohesive unifying concept

Explains historical developments through the powerful themes of supremacies and diversities

Written in accessible, lively language

Topical themes include technological innovation, migration and conquest, political and economic decision-making, church and state, and disputes about the meaning of life

More information, study guides, and links to sources can be found on the book’s website,

A testbank, prepared by the author, is available in Respondus computerized testbank format. Respondus LE is available for free and can be used to automate the process of creating print tests. Respondus 3.5 (available for purchase or via a school site license) can prepare tests to be uploaded to online course management systems like Blackboard. Visit the Respondus Test Bank Network to request a copy of the testbank. For more information about the testbank, e-mail textbooks@rowman.com

New features
Now even more readable and concise

Improved maps and illustrations enhance the visual dimension

New primary source projects challenge readers with opposing perspectives on significant issues and events for each chapter. Students can enter the dialogue of history to construct their own interpretations

Power point slides created by the author are available for adopting professors and students click here.

Ancillary Materials are available for this title. For access to these professor use only materials, please Sign-In if you are a registered user, or Register then email us at textbooks@rowman.com
Test Bank. The Test Bank includes a variety of test questions and is available in either Word, PDF or Respondus formats. For every chapter in the text, the Test Bank includes a complete test with a variety of question types, including multiple choice, true false, and essay formats.
Our Test Bank is most flexibly used in Respondus, test authoring software which is available in two forms. Check with your university to see if you have a site license to the full program, Respondus 4.0, which offers the option to upload your tests to any of the most popular course management systems such as Blackboard. If you don’t have a Respondus license or do not care about having your tests in a course management system, you can use our test bank file in Respondus LE. The LE program is free and can be used to automate the process of creating tests in print format. (Please note that Not all test banks are available as a Respondus package.)
• Visit the Respondus Test Bank Network to download the test bank for either Respondus 4.0 or Respondus LE.
• If you prefer to use our Test Bank in Word or PDF, please Sign-In if you are a registered user, or Register then email us at textbooks@rowman.com
Lecture Notes. The Lecture Notes provide the tables and figures from the text.