Henry Ford said that history often seems to consist of just “one damn fact after another.” The books in Berkshire’s “This World of Ours” series, only 150 pages each, are designed to help teachers and students alike to get the most out of our shared world history.

  • This Is China is almost certainly the shortest introduction to historic and contemporary China. In the revised and updated second edition, China expert Kerry Brown provides insightful answers to today’s questions about the world’s newest superpower and offers an engaging framework for understanding its meteoric rise.
  • This Fleeting World is the smallest book of big history, telling the story of the universe and history of humanity in less than one hundred pages. Prize-winning historian David Christian covers it all in this compact, accessible, and inspiring guide to the history of everything, from stars and empires to cities, the World Wide Web, capitalism, and globalization. (If you are looking for the edition designed for AP World History and other courses, please visit this page.)
  • This Is Africa, one of Berkshire's acclaimed "This World of Ours" series, provides a brief, engaging history of a great and too-little-known continent - a land rich in resources and troubled by conflict, now home to over a billion people speaking more than a thousand different languages. This book explores Africa's interrelatedness to other regions and cultures throughout history and examines its growing economic and political importance to other nations.
  • This Is America: A Short History of the United States offers a unique guide to the United States of America, a nation that in recent history has been the most affluent, influential, and powerful on Earth, known for innovation as well as for its belief in its own “exceptionalism.” This book will give US citizens and people elsewhere a more nuanced view of the "beautiful country."
  • This Is China: The First 5,000 Years contains, in brief, everything we need to know about 5,000 years of history, 30 years of “opening,” and a future that promises to shape the 21st century for all of us.
  • This Is Islam presents a lively introduction to a religion that has a dramatic history and plays a crucial role in the world today.
  • Prize-winning historian David Christian takes us on a fascinating journey, telling the story of the universe and history of humanity in only 102 pages. We start with the Big Bang, move on to the earliest era of human foragers, then learn about to the invention of agriculture and the spread of humans around the world. We finally arrive in the twenty-first century, the Anthropocene epoch. This popular book, now in its sixth printing, was designed for students and also includes an appendix about AP World History Teacher’s Guide by Bob Bain and Lauren McArthur Harris.. There are numerous “Thought Experiments” guaranteed to spark discussion about the past, present, and future. Welcome to This Fleeting World. “History teachers wrestling with the question How do I teach all the stuff that makes up world history? might find some answers here. Rather than focus on the minutiae of details, Christian suggests teaching from the big picture. When flying above familiar terrain, he writes, “From the plane you will not see many details, but you will get a clearer sense of the landscape. Individual objects may be blurred, but you will see the relationship between them more easily.” The book can easily be read in one sitting and should prove to be a valuable classroom resource.” --Voya

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