Daily Life through World History in Primary Documents
by Lawrence Morris, General Editor; David Matz, Volume Editor; David M. Borgmeyer and Rebecca Ayako Bennette, Volume Editors
December 2008, 1000pp, 8 1/2x11
3 volumes, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-0-313-33898-4
$347, £267, 302€, A476
eBook Available: 978-0-313-08434-8
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

This 3-volume set offers a rich collection of historical documents and illustrations, portraying daily life in major world cultures throughout history.

Who did the ancient Greeks describe as the world’s best athlete? What does the Koran say about women’s rights? How has the digital revolution changed life in the modern age? From the law courts of ancient Iraq to bloody Civil War battlefields, explore the daily lives of people from major world cultures throughout history, as presented in their own words. Bringing useful and engaging material into world history classrooms, this rich collection of historical documents and illustrations provides insight into major cultures from all continents. Hundreds of thematically organized, annotated primary documents, and over 100 images introduce aspects of daily life throughout the world, including domestic life, economics, intellectual life, material life, politics, religion, and recreation, from antiquity to the present. Document selections are guided by the National Standards for World History, providing a direct tie to the curriculum.

Analytical introductions explain the key features and background of each document, and create links between documents to illustrate the interrelationship of thoughts and customs across time and cultures.

Volume 1: The Ancient World covers the major civilizations from ancient Sumeria (3000 BCE) through the fall of Imperial Rome (476 CE), including Egypt, Greece, and Israel, and also covers China and India during the births of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism.

Volume 2: The Middle Ages and Renaissance covers the development of European culture from the Germanic migrations of the fifth century CE through the university movement of the late middle ages, and the sixteenth-century growth of global empires and the collapse of the kingship in seventeenth-century England. Also covered are the Native empires of the Americas and the rise of Islamic culture throughout the Middle East and Africa.

Volume 3: The Modern World spans the period from the Enlightenment through modern Internet era and global economy, including the founding of the United States, colonial and post-colonial life in Latin America and Africa, and the growth of international cultures and new economies in Asia.

Document sources include: The code of Hammurabi, The Manu Smrti, Seneca’s On Mercy, Josephus’s Jewish Antiquities, The Koran, Dante’s Divine Comedy, Bernal Diaz del Castillo’s The True History of the Conquest of Mexico, The Travels of Marco Polo, Brahmagupta’s principles of mathematics and astronomy, The Mayan Popul Vuh, the diary of a Southern plantation wife during the Civil War, and letters from an American soldier in Vietnam

Thematically organized sections are supplemented with a glossary of terms, a glossary of names, a timeline of key events, and an annotated bibliography. Document selections are guided by the National Standards for World History, providing a direct tie to the curriculum. This collection is an invaluable source for students of material history, social history, and world history.


Editors' Choice, 2009—Booklist, January 1, 2010


"[R]eaders will learn about fascinating discoveries from ancient times to the present in areas including economics, intellectual life, politics, spirituality, and recreation. Containing more than 500 documents the set was put together by a team of editors led by Morris (Albright Coll.) all of whom represent vast experience and knowledge in cultural studies. . . . High school students will find the set valuable for term papers and class projects. Libraries looking to expand their collections on civilizations and social history will want to add this to their collections. A good buy for high school and public libraries."—Library Journal, April 1, 2009

"This thematically arranged, expansive reference work seeks to cover the much-treaded ground of primary resource collections. What sets this attempt apart in a crowded field, however, is its subject matter: daily life. Understanding what everyday life was like for the masses of humanity provides us with a level of context and perspective not possible with a narrow focus on political elites. The current set attempts to rectify this by presenting readers with a balanced social and cultural cross section of authors and subjects spanning from the ancient Sumerians to the intellectual and social world of the present. Although documents from the greats—such as Hammurabi and Benjamin Franklin—still make the cut, the inclusion of a wide variety of sources and authors from around the world merits attention. Examples include a letter from one Egyptian official to another about travel arrangements for a Roman politician, an inventory of the household goods and agricultural produce of one of Charlemagne’s estates, and a poem written by a Japanese soldier in 1944. . . . Overall, this set is a great resource for high-school, public, and college libraries with substantial history collections as well as a valuable companion for libraries containing works from the publisher’s Daily Life through History series."—Booklist, Starred Review, May 1, 2009

"This is an excellent companion to the Greenwood Encyclopedia of Daily Life, ed. by J. E. Salisbury (CH, May '05, 42-4999). . . . College students, with their multicultural curriculums, are the intended audience of this set with its impressive assortment of primary documents on cultural studies. This work's primary asset is the number of primary sources."—Choice, June 1, 2009

"This three-volume set for students and general readers brings together primary source documents from major world cultures throughout history that illustrate domestic, economic, intellectual, material, political, recreational, and religious life. . . . Each volume begins with an historical overview of the period and cultures, and each document is preceded by an analytical introduction, giving background and describing its key features."—Reference & Research Book News, May 1, 2009
By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.
Accept All Cookies | Decline.