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Western Civilization I: Ancient Near East to 1648

Read the exam descriptions for Western Civilization I and Western Civilization II.

Many of the texts listed here are published in two-volume editions, with one volume covering Western Civilization I and the other covering Western Civilization II. Some also have one-volume brief or concise editions, designed for a less intensive review.


  • Chambers et al., The Western Experience, (McGraw-Hill)
  • Coffin and Stacey, Western Civilizations, Brief Edition (W.W. Norton)
  • Goff, A Survey of Western Civilization (McGraw-Hill)
  • Greer and Lewis, A Brief History of the Western World (Wadsworth)
  • Hunt et al., The Making of the West (Bedford/St. Martin's)
  • Kidner et al., Making Europe: People, Politics, Culture (Wadsworth)
  • King, Western Civilization: A Social and Cultural History (Prentice Hall)
  • Kishlansky et al., Civilization in the West (Pearson Longman)
  • McKay et al., A History of Western Society (Wadsworth)
  • Merriman, A History of Modern Europe (W.W. Norton)
  • Noble et al., Western Civilization: Beyond Boundaries (Wadsworth)
  • Sherman and Salisbury, The West in the World (McGraw-Hill)
  • Spielvogel, Western Civilization (Wadsworth)

Online Resources

Contemporary novels and plays, as well as works by Homer, Shakespeare and Dickens, provide rich sources of information. Classic works of nonfiction are equally valuable—for example, Machiavelli's The Prince, Mill's On Liberty and Paine's The Rights of Man. Books of documents are an excellent source for sampling primary materials. Actual works of art in museums can bring to life not only the reproductions found in books, but history itself.

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