Chapter 1: History's Story Chapter 2: Early Civilizations

Chapter 1 Notes
This chapter generally discusses the practice of history, covering some of the same material we
already discussed in lecture, and adding a few more ideas. Please read it over (it’s very short)
with a critical eye: look for things you might (or anyone might) disagree with, or that you
believe are presented unclearly. Please bring any comments you have on it with you to class.
For this and future chapters, DON’T think you need to memorize all the stuff in the textbook.
Recognize that some parts are more important than others, and try to learn the important bits,
skimming the rest. My brief introductions, the lecture notes below, and eventually, the
homework questions I assign, will help you figure out what I think is important.
Please come up with 3-5 sentences describing Western Civilization AS IT IS TODAY for each of
the 8 topics in ICED PEST. As an example, for “Cultural” (artistic/entertainment) I might write:
Perhaps the most significant change in art and entertainment is that, because Western
Civilization has become so wealthy, people have far more time and money for leisure
activities than ever imagined in the past. Many of the traditional types of art remain
popular, although with stylistic changes (“modern” painting, “rock” music, etc.). Sports
has become, over the last century, one of the most popular forms of entertainment. But
two new media, TV and movies, and the use of computerized special effects, have
become by far the most popular forms of art. Finally, TV, computers, and the internet
have combined to make entertainment far more individual and isolated an experience.
This obviously isn’t the only possible answer, and in a few sentences nobody can clearly
describe all the changes in the world of art and entertainment. What I want is for you to think
for a while about what is going on currently in art (and politics, and economics, etc.) and then
to try to summarize what it’s like and particularly how it’s different from the past.