Windows into Western Civilization

Documents and Essays (First Edition)
Edited by Ginger Lee Smoak
Paperback, 364 pages
ISBN: 978-1-62131-633-6 ©2015
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Windows into Western Civilization
Windows into Western Civilization

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    Windows into Western Civilization combines primary sources with supporting secondary material to create a window into pre-modern Western civilizations. Works by Thucydides, Suetonius, Boccaccio, and others are paired with outstanding pieces of modern scholarship to give students a well-rounded understanding of past events and culture.

    The material is organized into four sections that cover the ancient near East, the Greco-Roman world, Late Antiquity, and the Middle Ages. Each section of the book offers a fresh, novel approach to familiar topics, and the material asks readers to think outside conventional understanding. Students will learn about Mesopotamia and its perceived pessimistic role in the birth of Western civilization, the eternal optimism of Egypt, Rome as a sponge society, the rise of the corporate Church, and the Middle Ages as a period of adoption and adaptation.

    Each chapter includes clearly stated objectives to focus learning, a list of important concepts and themes, discussion questions for class use, timelines, maps, illustrations, and a glossary.

    Written for survey courses in pre-modern Western civilization, Windows into Western Civilization can be used as a stand-alone text, or as a supplemental reader to standard textbooks in the discipline.

    Ginger Lee Smoak holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She is an assistant professor lecturer in the Department of History at the University of Utah, where she teaches courses in medieval history and western civilization. Dr. Smoak has given numerous presentations, and written about the lives of women in the medieval period, particularly focusing on midwifery and childbirth. Her work has appeared in Quidditas and College English. She is the recipient of several excellence in teaching awards, and a member of both the Rocky Mountain Medieval and Renaissance Association, and the American Association of University Professors.