Events That Formed the Modern World: From the European Renaissance through the War on Terror

By Hurley, Joseph A. | Reference & User Services Quarterly, Fall 2013 | Go to article overview

Events That Formed the Modern World: From the European Renaissance through the War on Terror


Hurley, Joseph A., Reference & User Services Quarterly


Events That Formed the Modern World: From the European Renaissance Through the War on Terror. Ed. by Frank W Thackeray and John E. Findling. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2012. 5 vols. acid free $488 (ISBN 978-1-59884-901-1). Ebook available (978-1-59884-902-8), call for pricing.

The consequential and often lasting impact of major events over the past 500 years has helped to shape the modern world. Not isolated to any one geographic region, these formative events took place in all corners of the world. Events That Formed the Modern World: From the European Renaissance through the War on Terror highlights 62 significant events from across the globe, each of which contributed to the modern world. A five volume thematic reference set, Events That Formed the Modern World provides readers with introductory and interpretative essays for all of the 62 events each with a bibliography and shorter entries detailing significant people or occurrences related to the major event. Each volume also contains a glossary of terms and a timeline. Edited by Frank W. Thackeray and John E. Findling, professor emeriti of history at Indiana University Southeast, this reference work is intended for the general public and high school and undergraduate students.

Events That Formed the Modern World represents a novel and noteworthy approach to the encyclopedia. Arranged chronologically, each volume covers approximately one century, with the first volume being an exception as it begins with an entry on the Reconquista (c.711) and ends with the Spanish Armada (1588). The events covered in this set of volumes are characterized largely by a top-down approach with relatively standard historical periodizations. While following an easy to comprehend chronological layout, this set diverges from the traditional encyclopedia formula, which often provides an overview of a topic with little critical analysis or interpretation. Thackeray and Findling's work provides readers with a brief introductory essay for each event grounding the reader in the event's historical context. However, the strength and distinctive feature of this reference work rests with the interpretive essays, each written by experts and averaging about eight pages in length, These highly accessible essays provide thought provoking analyses and examine the reasons why the event has had a lasting impact on the modern world. …

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