In this best-selling text, noted teachers and scholars William J. Duiker and Jackson J. Spielvogel present a brief, balanced, highly-readable overview of world history that explores common challenges and experiences that unite the human past and that identify key global patterns over time. Thorough coverage of political, economic, social, religious, intellectual, cultural, and military history has been integrated into a chronologically ordered synthesis to help students gain an appreciation and understanding of the distinctive character and development of individual cultures in society. The Fourth Edition continues to take a global approach to world history, with an emphasis on analytical comparisons between and among cultures throughout history. This approach helps students to link events together in a broad comparative and global framework, thereby placing the contemporary world in a more meaningful historical context. It is available as: "The Essential World History, Fourth Edition" (Chapters 1-30), ISBN: 0495902942; "Volume I: To 1800" (Chapters 1-18), ISBN: 0495902950; and, "Volume II: Since 1500" (Chapters 14-30), ISBN: 0495902969.