HIS 135
Alternative Textbooks

Well, I ended up choosing the Keylor textbook for a number of good reasons:

  • cost (It is much cheaper than the other textbooks that cover this period.)
  • coverage (It has good coverage of the entire world and is not overly Europe-focused.)
  • assignment focus (The material in the text fits well with the short paragraph assignments and the essay questions on the midterm and final exams.)
  • scholarship (The author is a respected scholar, and the text is relatively well-written.)

But there are some things that I still do not like about the textbook

  • lack of coverage of cultural and social developments (I do have quite a bit of material in the course, via the module assignments, covering non-political events, but there is just so much that has happened, for example, in the worlds of technology and medicine, and there is no real coverage in this text. I am hoping that more students will be able to contribute to the course in these and other areas.)
  • it is a bit on the long side

The old text for the course was Carter Findley and John Rothney, Twentieth-Century World, 6th edition.  It is ok with me if you use that. Here is an old list of texts that I had found acceptable for use in the course. You would, of course, want to use the most up-to-date edition.

  • Paul Johnson, Modern Times: The World from the Twenties to the Nineties, Rev. ed. (New York: HarperPerennial, 1996).
  • Eric Hobsbawm, The Age of Extremes:  A History of the World, 1914-1991 (New York: Vintage Books, 1996).
  • Glen Blackburn, The West and the World since 1945, 3rd ed. (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1993).
  • J. A. S. Grenville, A History of the World in the Twentieth Century, 2 vols. (Cambridge: Belknap Press, 1996).
  • Daniel Brower, The World in the Twentieth Century, 5th ed. (Upper Saddle River: Prentice-Hall, 2000).
  • Michael Adas, et al., Turbulent Passage:  A Global History of the Twentieth Century (New York: HarperCollins, 1994).
  • T. E. Vadney, The World since 1945, 2nd ed. (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1992).
Blue Separator Bar
  • Older but still useful, D. C. Watt, E. Spencer and N. Brown, A History of the World in the Twentieth Century (Hodder & Stoughton, 1967).
  • G. Barraclough examines some underlying forces in An Introduction to Contemporary History (Penguin, 1969).
  • Two French interpretations are M. Crouzet, L'Epoque contemporaine:  a la recherche d'une civilisation nouvelle (Presses Universitaires, 1969) and J. Bouillon, P. Sorlin and J. Rudel, Le Monde contemporaine, 13th ed. (Bordas, 1968).
  • For an introduction to the forces shaping culture and society, see M. Biddiss, The Age of the Masses (Penguin, 1977).
  • H. S. Hughes, Contemporary Europe:  A History, 4th ed. (Prentice-Hall, 1976).

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