Nelson Higher Education

Higher Education

Western Civilization, 10th Edition

  • Jackson Spielvogel
  • ISBN-10: 1305952316
  • ISBN-13: 9781305952317
  • 1056 Pages | Hardcover
  • Previous Editions: 2015, 2012, 2009
  • COPYRIGHT: 2018 Published
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About the Product

Best-selling author Jackson Spielvogel has helped over one million students learn about the present by exploring the past. Spielvogel's engaging narrative weaves the political, economic, social, religious, intellectual, cultural, and military aspects of history into a gripping story that is as memorable as it is instructive. Updated to reflect current scholarship, WESTERN CIVILIZATION, 10th Edition, includes more than 150 maps and excerpts of more than 250 primary sources that enliven the past while introducing students to the source material of historical scholarship. Additionally, the text is illustrated with more than 400 photographs that add visual context. A variety of pedagogical tools, including focus and critical thinking questions, primary source features with assignable questions, and end-of-chapter study aids, make this edition accessible to any learning style.


  • Spielvogel provides a focused, consistent, and engaging narrative throughout the text. The author is an award-winning teacher and scholar whose clear, lively, and informative writing style has made this text so successful with students. Numerous testimonials state that a primary reason professors use the text is because their students can read and understand it at schools that range from Ivy League universities to two-year technical colleges.

  • The text's selection of primary source materials is unmatched. More than 250 letters, song lyrics, official documents, diary entries, menus, poems, plays, and the like give students access to the kinds of materials historians use to shape their interpretations of the past. These sources vividly reveal what Western civilization meant to the men and women who shaped it. New document boxes include: "The Code of Assura" (Ch. 2); "Pope Leo I and Attila the Hun" (Ch. 7); "The Steam Engine and Cotton" (Ch. 20); "Women's Soccer, 1881" (Ch. 23) and "The West and Islam" (Ch. 30).

  • "Opposing Viewpoints" features, which present a comparison of two or three primary sources in order to facilitate student analysis of historical documents, appear in most chapters. Topics include "The Great Flood: Two Versions" (Ch. 1); "Women in Athens and Sparta" (Ch. 3); "Causes of the Black Death" (Ch. 11); "Women in the Age of the Enlightenment: Rousseau and Wollstonecraft" (Ch. 17); and "Islam and the West: Secularism in France" (Ch. 30). Assignable questions at the end of each feature aid individual or collaborative study.

  • End-of-chapter review material includes an illustrated Chapter Summary, a Chapter Timeline, and Chapter Review consisting of "Upon Reflection" essay questions and Key Terms from the chapter.


"The author strikes a very good balance between being comprehensive without drowning students in detail. … All of the chapters are strong, which is a big reason that I use the book."
— Thomas Mockaitis, DePaul University

About the Author

Jackson Spielvogel

Jackson J. Spielvogel is Associate Professor Emeritus of History at The Pennsylvania State University. He received his Ph.D. from The Ohio State University, where he specialized in Reformation History under Harold J. Grimm. His articles and reviews have appeared in journals such as MOREANA, JOURNAL OF GENERAL EDUCATION, CATHOLIC HISTORICAL REVIEW, ARCHIV FÜR REFORMATIONSGESCHICHTE and AMERICAN HISTORICAL REVIEW. He also has contributed chapters or articles to THE SOCIAL HISTORY OF REFORMATION, THE HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE: A DICTIONARY HANDBOOK, the SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTER ANNUAL OF HOLOCAUST STUDIES and UTOPIAN STUDIES. His work has been supported by fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation and the Foundation for Reformation Research. At Penn State, he helped inaugurate the Western Civilization course, as well as a popular course on Nazi Germany. His book HITLER AND NAZI GERMANY was first published in 1987 (7th Edition, 2014). In addition, he is the author of WESTERN CIVILIZATION, first published in 1991 (10th Edition, 2018), and co-author (with William Duiker) of WORLD HISTORY, first published in 1994 (9th Edition, 2019). Professor Spielvogel has won five major university-wide teaching awards. During the 1988-1989 year, he held the Penn State Teaching Fellowship, the university's most prestigious teaching award. He won the Dean Arthur Ray Warnock Award for Outstanding Faculty member in 1996 and received the Schreyer Honors College Excellence in Teaching Award in 2000.

Table of Contents

1. The Ancient Near East: The First Civilizations.
2. The Ancient Near East: Peoples and Empires.
3. The Civilization of the Greeks.
4. The Hellenistic World.
5. The Roman Republic.
6. The Roman Empire.
7. Late Antiquity and the Emergence of the Medieval World.
8. European Civilization in the Early Middle Ages, 750–1000.
9. The Recovery and Growth of European Society in the High Middle Ages.
10. The Rise of Kingdoms and the Growth of Church Power.
11. The Later Middle Ages: Crisis and Disintegration in the Fourteenth Century.
12. Recovery and Rebirth: The Age of the Renaissance.
13. Reformation and Religious Warfare in the Sixteenth Century.
14. Europe and The World: New Encounters, 1500–1800.
15. State Building and the Search for Order in the Seventeenth Century.
16. Toward a New Heaven and a New Earth: The Scientific Revolution and the Emergence of Modern Science.
17. The Eighteenth Century: An Age of Enlightenment.
18. The Eighteenth Century: European States, International Wars, and Social Change.
19. A Revolution in Politics: The Era of The French Revolution and Napoleon.
20. The Industrial Revolution and Its Impact on European Society.
21. Reaction, Revolution, and Romanticism, 1815–1850.
22. An Age of Nationalism and Realism, 1850–1871.
23. Mass Society in an "Age of Progress," 1871–1894.
24. An Age of Modernity, Anxiety, and Imperialism, 1894–1914.
25. The Beginning of the Twentieth-Century Crisis: War and Revolution.
26. The Futile Search for Stability: Europe Between the Wars, 1919–1939.
27. The Deepening of the European Crisis: World War II.
28. Cold War and a New Western World, 1945–1965.
29. Protest and Stagnation: The Western World, 1965–1985.
30. After The Fall: The Western World in a Global Age (Since 1985).

New to this edition

  • New and revised material in every chapter reflects current historical scholarship. The author has also implemented many suggestions based on reviewer feedback.
  • New "Global Perspectives" features reinforce the relationship between the West and other parts of the world by examining paired images or documents. Found in twenty chapters, this new feature includes such topics as "The Stele in the Ancient World" (Ch. 1); "Women in the Roman and Han Empires" (Ch. 6); "Medieval Monastic Life in West and East" (Ch. 10); "Revolution and Revolt in France and China" (Ch. 19); "West and East: Textile Factory Work" (Ch. 23); and "The New Global Economy: Fast Fashion" (Ch. 30).
  • New "Historians Debate" headings highlight brief explanations about varying views on historical interpretation to remind students that history isn't always as simple as black and white. Examples include: "Was There a United Kingdom of Israel?"; "Was There a Renaissance for Women?"; "Was There an Agricultural Revolution?"; "The Retreat from Democracy: Did Europe Have Totalitarian States?"; and "Why Did the Soviet Union Collapse?"
  • A new abbreviated format for "Film & History" features gives readers a snippet of information about films related to the discussion and includes a question appropriate for class discussion or individual assignments after viewing the film.


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the Main title.
Please see Main title page for new to this edition information.

Instructor Supplements

Instructor’s Companion Website  (ISBN-10: 1337271705 | ISBN-13: 9781337271707)

Everything you need for your course in one place! This collection of product-specific lecture and class tools is available online via the instructor resource center at You'll be able to access and download materials such as PowerPoint presentations, images, instructor’s manual, videos, and more.

Cengage Testing, powered by Cognero® Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 1305954726 | ISBN-13: 9781305954724)

Cengage Learning Testing, powered by Cognero®, is a flexible, online system that allows you to import, edit, and manipulate content from the text's test bank or elsewhere, including your own favorite test questions. Create multiple test versions in an instant and deliver tests from your LMS, your classroom, or wherever you want.

MindTap History, 2 terms (12 months) Instant Access for Spielvogel's Western Civilization  (ISBN-10: 1305952367 | ISBN-13: 9781305952362)

MindTap History is the digital learning solution that helps you engage and transform today's students into critical thinkers. Through paths of dynamic assignments and applications that you can personalize, real-time course analytics, and an accessible reader, MindTap helps you turn cookie cutter into cutting edge, apathy into engagement, and memorizers into higher-level thinkers.

Student Supplements

MindTap History, 2 terms (12 months) Instant Access for Spielvogel's Western Civilization  (ISBN-10: 1305952367 | ISBN-13: 9781305952362)

It’s 1 AM, there are 20 tabs open on your computer, and you’re so tired you can’t even read. It’d be nice if someone came up with a more efficient way of studying. Luckily, someone did. With a single login for MindTap History for Spielvogel's Western Civilization, 10th Edition, you can connect with your instructor, organize coursework, and have access to a range of study tools, including e-book and apps all in one place! In each chapter of MindTap, you can easily identify and review learning objectives, draw connections and improve your writing skills, read short, manageable sections from the ebook, and test your knowledge with critical thinking questions. Additional online activities include YouTube playlists packed with engaging videos that help further explain content covered in the text and broaden your understanding of the subject as a whole and links to present-day historical landmarks through Google that allow you to explore different places in ways a book cannot. Manage your time and workload without the hassle of heavy books! The MindTap Reader keeps all your notes together, lets you print the material, and will even read text out loud. Need extra practice? Find pre-populated flashcards and the entire eBook in the MindTap Mobile App, as well as quizzes and important course alerts. Want to know where you stand? Use the Progress app to track your performance in relation to other students.