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A Concise History of the Modern World

1500 to the Present: A Guide to World Affairs

A Concise History of the Modern World by William Woodruff
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This book investigates the major changes in world history and world economy
during the past five hundred years. Its underlying theme is the struggle for power. Until the Rise of the West, and its incomparable impact on every branch of human activity, the center of the world lay in Asia. By the nineteenth century world power was firmly in the hands of the West. America's later rise to world status was prompted by the two world wars.
With the other western powers in retreat, the United States is now blamed for all the excesses of western colonialism. It has become the prime target of international terrorism. Today there is a growing challenge to western domination and globalization. The much larger, but much poorer non-western
world has begun to reassert itself.
To understand the world around us, the global view is imperative. The dreadful terrorist attack on the United States on 11 September 2001, in which the US lost its sense of safety at home, confirms this. With this attack America's focus shifted from the nation to the world: national and international affairs are no longer divisible.
It is the author's belief that we have reached a crucial transitional stage in world history, in which the world will no longer be shaped by the single image of western modernism, but also by the image of other cultures and civilizations. With the shift of world political and economic power to Asia, and with the growing world-wide influence of religious fundamentalism and revolutionary nationalism, the need for a global perspective has become acute. Extraordinarily well written, this book encompasses the learning and insights gleaned by the author from a lifetime career as a world historian.
Palgrave Macmillan; June 2002
443 pages; ISBN 9780230554665
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Title: A Concise History of the Modern World
Author: William Woodruff
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