Friday, November 6, 2020

Review of Ways of the World: A Brief Global History with Sources by Robert W. Strayer

This review is written by Eugene Kernes

Book can be found in:
Genre = History

Short Review

Elaborate Description

This history textbook takes the reader around the world and through time. Going through various concepts such political structure of different regions, how religions changed the world thought time, how cultures adapted or fell with situations, and changing roles of women. Focusing on how situations changed the structure of the world, all the while making comparisons while showing connections. History may be unique and as unpredictable as the future, but knowing how the people of the past handled situations can facilitate an understanding of different paths that current people can take.

Part of the charm of this book is that Strayer challenged the reader to seek out their own understanding. Historical texts are provided with the reader being able to judge how historians judged history. How useful or unreliable historical narratives were. Rather than being dictatorial about the history of event, events are expressed in their variety and the various consequences that they had.

Even though the book is very lengthy, each topic is given only a brief overview. This is compensated by the diverse content and sources for topics. The reader will find many ideas in the book which will inspire a hunt for more information about the topics. The content in this book does not cover just the famous peoples, but also covers many underrepresented regions and peoples within history.

Questions to Consider while Reading the Book

•How did traders and merchants change societies?
•What role did religions play in societies?
•Can historical be comparisons be made?  Comparisons between different cultures, religions, political entities, and philosophies? 
•Which culture provided more opportunities for women, and which restricted opportunities?
•How reliable are historical narratives? 
•Can we learn from history?
•Can historical situations and events be judged from the perspective of the people who lived them?

Book Details

Edition ISBN:  9780312583460
Pages to read:   1206
Publication:     2012
1st Edition:      2010
Format:            Paperback

Ratings out of 5:
Readability    5
Content          5
Overall           5