Contemporary World History

  • AUTHOR: William J. Duiker
  • ISBN-13: 9781285447902 
  • Grade(s): 9 | 10 | 11 | 12
  • 384 Pages  Paperback 
  • 6th Edition  |  Previous Editions: 2010, 2007, 2005
  • ©2015     Published
  • Prices are valid only in the respective region


About The Product

This comprehensive and balanced history of the world in the twentieth century and into the new millennium chronicles the key events of the period and examines the underlying issues that have shaped the times. CONTEMPORARY WORLD HISTORY, 6th Edition, takes a global approach to the subject while doing justice to the distinctive character of individual civilizations and regions. Author William Duiker integrates political, economic, social, and cultural history, creating a chronologically ordered synthesis that gives students the true flavor of the most decisive moments in recent world history. In addition, Duiker's own photographs and selection of primary source documents are especially effective in illustrating key points in the narrative. The popular Film & History feature examines several films, presenting a brief analysis of each film's plot as well as its historical significance, value, and accuracy.


  • “Film & History” features present a brief analysis of the plot as well as the historical significance, value, and accuracy of several films, such as “Khartoum” (1966, Ch. 2); “Gandhi” (1982, Ch. 5); “The Lives of Others,” originally titled “Das Leben Der Anderen” (2006, Ch. 10); and “The Last Emperor” (1987, Ch. 12).
  • Primary source documents in every chapter encourage students to think critically and analytically, and expose them to the historian's craft while allowing the text to be used as the sole text for the course. Assignable questions appear at the end of each primary source box. Topics include: A Letter of Advice to the Queen (Ch. 3); Margaret Thatcher: Entering a Man's World (Ch. 10); Love and Marriage in China (Ch. 12); and Stealing the Nation's Riches, an excerpt from Ayi Kwei Armah's book, “The Beautiful Ones Are Not Yet Born” (Ch. 14).
  • Chapters open with a brief vignette to pique students' interest in the region under discussion, while part-ending “Reflections” features help students organize and synthesize the material and make connections between events in different civilizations.
  • Each chapter is complemented by detailed maps that help students understand the importance of geography in history. Expanded map captions encourage readers to think beyond the mere appearance of each map and to make connections across chapters, regions, and concepts. Many maps are also available on the Book Companion Website.
  • “Spot maps” appear in many chapters, providing critical details on smaller areas not apparent in the larger maps. Many “spot maps” with commentary and critical thinking questions are also available on the Book Companion Website.
  • Timelines clearly highlight and contrast different cultures and nations, helping readers gain a comparative view of the development of world history. Timelines also appear on the Book Companion Website with commentary and image links.

About the Contributor

  • William J. Duiker

    William J. Duiker is liberal arts Professor Emeritus of East Asian studies at The Pennsylvania State University. A former U.S. diplomat with service in Taiwan, South Vietnam, and Washington, D.C., he received his doctorate in Far Eastern history from Georgetown University. At Penn State, he has written extensively on the history of Vietnam and modern China, including the highly acclaimed COMMUNIST ROAD TO POWER IN VIETNAM (revised edition, Westview Press, 1996), which was selected for a Choice Outstanding Academic Book Award in 1982−1983 and 1996−1997. Other books are CHINA AND VIETNAM: THE ROOTS OF CONFLICT (Berkeley, 1987), U.S. CONTAINMENT POLICY AND THE CONFLICT IN INDOCHINA (Stanford, 1995), SACRED WAR: NATIONALISM AND REVOLUTION IN A DIVIDED VIETNAM (McGraw-Hill, 1995), and HO CHI MINH (Hyperion, 2000), which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 2001. While his research specialization is in the field of nationalism and Asian revolutions, his intellectual interests are considerably more diverse. He has traveled widely and has taught courses on the history of communism and non-Western civilizations at Penn State, where he was awarded a Faculty Scholar Medal for Outstanding Achievement in the spring of 1996. In 2002 the College of Liberal Arts honored him with an Emeritus Distinction Award.

Table of Contents

1. The Rise of Industrial Society in the West.  
2. The High Tide of Imperialism: Africa and Asia in an Era of Western Dominance. 
3. Shadows over the Pacific: East Asia Under Challenge. 
4. War and Revolution: World War I and Its Aftermath. 
5. Nationalism, Revolution, and Dictatorship: Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America from 1919 to 1939. 
6. The Crisis Deepens: The Outbreak of World War II.
7. East and West in the Grip of the Cold War.  
8. The United States, Canada, and Latin America.  
9. Brave New World: The Rise and Fall of Communism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.  
10. Postwar Europe: On the Path to Unity? 
11. Toward the Pacific Century? Japan and the Little Tigers. 
12. The East Is Red: China Under Communism.  
13. Nationalism Triumphant: The Emergence of Independent States in South and Southeast Asia.
14. Emerging Africa.  
15. Ferment in the Middle East.  
16. Constructing a New World Order.

New to this Edition

  • New “Opposing Viewpoints” features present a comparison of two or three primary source excerpts to facilitate student analysis of historical documents. Accompanying focus questions help students evaluate the documents. Topics include: “White Man's Burden, Black Man's Sorrow” (Ch. 2), “You Have to Bear the Burden of War and Peace” (Ch. 4), “Islam in the Modern World: Two Views” (Ch. 5), “Confrontation in Southeast Asia” (Ch. 7), “Students Appeal for Democracy” (Ch. 12), “Two Visions for India” (Ch. 13), and “Africa: Dark Continent or Radiant Land” (Ch. 14).
  • New chapter-opening images illustrate the opening vignettes.
  • New material reflects recent scholarship. For example, new, revised, or expanded content discusses: the Belgian Congo (Ch. 2); the war outside Europe and the formation of the League of Nations (Ch. 4); the rise of Hitler and the rise of militarism in Japan, and the importance of code-breaking in World War II (Ch. 6); women, racial issues, and the environment as well as art and architecture and popular culture in the United States (Ch. 8); caste and the role of women (Ch. 13); the Arab-Israeli dispute, and the “Arab Spring” (Ch. 15).
  • New primary source topics include: Tragedy at Caffard Cove (Ch. 2); the Truman Doctrine (Ch. 7); Rights and Duties of Soviet Citizens (Ch. 9); Margaret Thatcher: Entering a Man's World (Ch. 10); Love and Marriage in China (Ch. 12); The Arab Case for Palestine, and Osama bin Laden (Ch. 15).
  • A new “Film & History” feature on “Letters from Iwo Jima” (2006) appears in Chapter 6, and another on “Persepolis” (2007) appears in Chapter 15.


Teacher Components

  • CourseReader 0-30: World History, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 1111475598 | ISBN-13: 9781111475598)
    COURSEREADER: WORLD HISTORY is Cengage Learning’s easy, affordable way to build your own online customizable reader. Through a partnership with Gale, COURSEREADER: WORLD HISTORY searches thousands of primary and secondary sources, readings, and audio and video clips from multiple disciplines. Select exactly and only the material you want your students to work with. Each selection can be listened to (using the “Listen” button), to accommodate varied learning styles. Additionally, an instructor can choose to add her own notes to readings, to direct students’ attention or ask them questions about a particular passage. Each primary source is accompanied by an introduction, and questions to help students understand the reading. COURSEREADER: WORLD HISTORY is the perfect complement to any class.
    Price = 67.00

Student Supplements

  • CourseReader 0-30: World History, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 1111475598 | ISBN-13: 9781111475598)
    Easy-to-use and affordable access to readings, audio, and video selections for your courses with this customized online reader. COURSEREADER: WORLD HISTORY helps you to stay organized and facilitates convenient access to course material, no matter where you are.
    Price = 67.00