Hackett Publishing Company announces the inauguration of the “Critical Themes in World History” series under the editorial supervision of Alfred J. Andrea, professor emeritus at the University of Vermont.
Through a combination of narrative, analysis, and primary sources, the series will introduce students and general readers alike to significant cross-cultural phenomena, events, and themes that have driven world history. The goal of the series is to present the latest research on selected topics of global significance—such as migration, trade, colonialism, decolonization, gender issues, war and peace, science and its critics, and the like—in a format that is not only comprehensible but eminently readable and attention-grabbing.
Most instructors of world history at all levels have concluded that their students learn best if the syllabus focuses on specific themes and issues that enable students to perceive and understand the overall patterns and meaning of our shared global past. Replacing or supplementing a standard textbook with several inexpensive books focused on specific themes allows instructors to tailor reading lists to their students’ particular needs and interests.
Instead of “dumbing down” the treatment of any given topic, these brief books will embrace a radical simplicity, going to the heart of chosen themes in a lively, provocative style. Such texts are timely because critical-thinking skills are increasingly emphasized in high school, collegiate, and university circles. Current pedagogical research stresses the benefits of active learning—source analysis, discussions, small-group work, oral presentations, debates, and writing—and the problem-oriented approach of this series will help instructors to move away from exclusive reliance on over-long, unwieldy, often dry-as-dust, so-called comprehensive narratives.
Scholars interested in writing for the series should e-mail the series editor at: firstname.lastname@example.org.