A History of the World

Tracing the evolution of global society from prehistoric times to the present, this innovative six-volume history of an interconnected world offers an exciting challenge to traditional understandings of familiar events and eras. Eschewing the customary encyclopedic approach of myriad short entries, each volume offers substantive interpretive essays by prominent historians who systematically explore developments and trends within a global historical framework. This integrated history is a joint publication of Harvard University Press and C. H. Beck.

Below is a list of in-print works in this collection, presented in series order or publication order as applicable.

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1.Cover: Making Civilizations: The World before 600

Making Civilizations: The World before 600

Gehrke, Hans-Joachim
Butler, Erik
Lewis, Peter

From the series A History of the World, Making Civilizations traces the origins of large-scale organized human societies. Led by archaeologist Hans-Joachim Gehrke, a distinguished group of scholars lays out latest findings about Neanderthals, the Agrarian Revolution, the founding of imperial China, the world of Western classical antiquity, and more.

3.Cover: Empires and Encounters: 1350–1750

Empires and Encounters: 1350–1750

Reinhard, Wolfgang

Between 1350 and 1750 the world reached a tipping point of global connectedness. In this volume of the acclaimed series A History of the World, noted international scholars examine five critical geographical areas where exploration and empire building led to expanding interaction—early signals on every continent of a shrinking globe.

4.Cover: An Emerging Modern World: 1750–1870

An Emerging Modern World: 1750–1870

Conrad, Sebastian
Osterhammel, Jürgen

For most of human history, states and regions were connected by long-distance commerce and war, yet they developed essentially separately. The century after 1750 marked a major shift. An Emerging Modern World, fourth in the six-volume series A History of the World, charts this transformative period outside the West.

5.Cover: A World Connecting: 1870–1945

A World Connecting: 1870–1945

Rosenberg, Emily S.

Between 1870 and 1945, advances in communication and transportation simultaneously expanded and shrank the world. In five interpretive essays, A World Connecting goes beyond nations, empires, and world wars to capture the era’s defining feature: the profound and disruptive shift toward an ever more rapidly integrating world.

Each of the five essays comprising A World ConnectingLeviathan 2.0; Empires and the Reach of the Global; Migrations and Belongings; Global Markets Transformed; and Transnational Currents in a Shrinking World—is now available as a standalone paperback volume.

6.Cover: Global Interdependence: The World after 1945

Global Interdependence: The World after 1945

Iriye, Akira

Global Interdependence provides a new account of world history from the end of WWII to the present, an era when transnational communities challenged the long domination of the nation-state. Leading scholars elucidate the political, economic, cultural, and environmental forces that have shaped the planet in the past sixty years.

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Composite photograph showing (top) entrance to the Prudential Center in Boston and (bottom) an internal construction partition/wall printed with the words 'Opening Day 2023' and other decorative text

A New Chapter for Harvard Book Store

Starting in the summer of 2023, for the first time in almost thirty years, Harvard Book Store will have two locations: the flagship store in Harvard Square, and a large new store in the Prudential Center in Boston. For University Press Week we wanted to show some bookseller love, so we reached out to Rachel Cass, General Manager of the Harvard Book Store, to see what’s planned for their exciting new location