Exploring World History through Geography
From the Cradle of Civilization to a Globalized World
by Julie Crea Dunbar
September 2022, 360pp, 7 x 10
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-7292-1
$107, £83, 94€, A147
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-7293-8
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

The study of geography has existed for more than 2,000 years and evolved from the philosophical tradition of the ancient Greeks, who are also responsible for the study of history.

Exploring World History through Geography: From the Cradle of Civilization to a Globalized World takes readers on a fascinating and unique journey through time from many of the earliest world civilizations right into the 21st century.

From the early civilizations of ancient Mesopotamia to our present-day globalized society, readers will learn how humans interacted—and still interact—with the environment around them, as well as the environment’s role in not only shaping the society’s world view but enabling the building of socially stratified and successful civilizations. Not your run-of-the-mill world history tome, this book examines world history through the closely related discipline of geography.

The civilizations and events represented in the book, while not exhaustive, were selected to highlight geographic themes and areas of study. Upon completing the book, readers should have a firm understanding of the expansive, cross-curricular study of geography—from the study of world cultures and history to politics to the environment and Earth’s physical processes. In addition, they will have a new understanding of the relevance of geography to not only human history but contemporary events, as well as their day-to-day lives. By presenting this history from a slightly different, geographic point of view, Exploring World History through Geography will inspire fresh curiosity in the world, both past and present.


  • Provides readers with a unique view of world history and modern events by exploring how geography has impacted civilizations
  • Explores geography concepts using real-world examples from world history and contemporary society
  • Supports modern educational initiatives of teaching with primary sources, making evidence-based arguments, and establishing cross-curricular connections
  • Inspires curiosity in readers by looking at history and the world in new and interesting ways
Julie Crea Dunbar has worked in social studies publishing for nearly 20 years. She is the editorial manager for a suite of databases, published by ABC-CLIO, that include World Geography: Understanding a Changing World, World History: The Modern Era, World at War, and Issues: Understanding Controversy and Society. Her writing has appeared on the ABC-CLIO databases as well as Geography Today: An Encyclopedia of Concepts, Issues, and Technology. She received her BA in human geography from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and her MFA in writing from Naropa University, also in Boulder. She completed graduate coursework in history at the University of Texas, Arlington.


"An understanding of geography is critical to the understanding and interpretation of history. Exploring World History through Geography thoughtfully guides the reader through thousands of years of world events, explorers, inventions, progress, and challenges in engaging and exciting ways but always with the consideration of geography. Rather than relegating geographic considerations to a few maps, directions, and distances, Dunbar’s book pays close attention to core geographic themes of scale, patterns, relationships, and region. Core to the book is human-environment interaction: How the physical environment influenced people and events, and how people influenced the environments they lived in and explored. Dunbar strikes a readable balance between detail but not letting the details obscure the important take-aways with each of the stories examined. While this book will be valuable to students and instructors in history and geography, it will also appeal to the general public who seeks to discover how these two disciplines provide insight to understanding our fascinating planet.—Joseph J. Kerski, Education Manager, Esri, and author of Interpreting Our World: 100 Discoveries That Revolutionized Geography

"Dunbar’s book is a highly effective synthesis bringing together several important disciplines including history, geography, economics, and world cultures. Presented in a sprightly and informative manner designed to hold the reader’s attention, the various themes explored in this work carry great relevance for our contemporary world. An excellent introductory study, this book belongs in every public library and would be ideal reading for an advanced high school class or university survey course."—Frank W. Thackeray, Emeritus Professor of History Indiana University Southeast

"This book provides a fascinating geographic perspective on world history, which makes each topic more tangible and relevant. Geography provides the context and underscores why local people, places, and environments matter. This book deftly merges geography and history to make the immense topic of world history relatable to modern readers."—Dr. Leslie A. Duram, Professor of Geography, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
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