This best-selling world history survey uses political history as the main framework of its narrative, while emphasizing social history to a greater extent than in any comparable text.

The text retains many popular pedagogical features from previous editions, including its short introduction, focus questions, presentation of historical problems throughout the text, primary source quotations, chapter summaries, and annotated lists of suggested readings.

This edition expands its coverage of non-Western regions with the expertise of author Patricia Ebrey, a noted historian who specializes in Asian history.