About the Book
DIGITAL UPDATE available for Fall 2021 classes
For courses in the History of Western Civilization.
Explore the changing nature of the West
Revel(R) The West: Encounters and Transformations examines the changing nature of Western civilization, helping students to understand how the definition of the West has both evolved and been transformed throughout history. Focusing on the central theme of cultural encounters, authors Brian Levack, Edward Muir, and Meredith Veldman explain how the West originated and developed through a continuous process of inclusion and exclusion resulting from a series of encounters among and within different groups. Available for Fall 2021 classes, the Digital Update better illuminates the past through new History 360 Experience simulations.
Revel empowers students to actively participate in learning. More than a digital textbook, Revel delivers an engaging blend of author content, media, and assessment. With Revel, students read and practice in one continuous experience, anytime, anywhere, on any device.
NOTE: This Revel Combo Access pack includes a Revel access code plus a loose-leaf print reference (delivered by mail) to complement your Revel experience. In addition to this access code, you will need a course invite link, provided by your instructor, to register for and use Revel.
About the Author: Brian Levack grew up in a family of teachers in the New York metropolitan area. From his father, a professor of French history, he acquired a love for studying the past, and he knew from an early age that he too would become a historian. He received his B.A. from Fordham University in 1965 and his Ph.D. from Yale in 1970. In graduate school he became fascinated by the history of the law and the interaction between law and politics, interests that he has maintained throughout his career. In 1969 he joined the history department of the University of Texas at Austin, where he is now the John Green Regents Professor in History. The winner of several teaching awards, Levack teaches a wide variety of courses on British and European history, legal history, and the history of witchcraft. For eight years he served as the chair of his department, a rewarding but challenging assignment that made it difficult for him to devote as much time as he wished to his teaching and scholarship. His books include The Civil Lawyers in England, 1603--1641: A Political Study (1973), The Formation of the British State: England, Scotland and the Union, 1603--1707 (1987), The Witch-Hunt in Early Modern Europe (fourth edition, 2015), and The Devil Within: Possession and Exorcism in the Christian West (2013). His study of the development of beliefs about witchcraft in Europe over the course of many centuries gave him the idea of writing a textbook on Western civilization that would illustrate a broader set of encounters between different cultures, societies, and ideologies. While writing the book, Levack and his two sons built a house on property that he and his wife, Nancy, own in the Texas hill country. He found that the two projects presented similar challenges: It was easy to draw up the design, but far more difficult to execute it. When not teaching, writing, or doing carpentry work, Levack runs along the jogging trails of Austin and has recently discovered the pleasures of scuba diving. Edward Muir grew up in the foothills of the Wasatch Mountains in Utah, close to the Emigration Trail along which wagon trains of Mormon pioneers and California-bound settlers made their way westward. As a child he loved to explore the broken-down wagons and abandoned household goods left at the side of the trail and from that acquired a fascination with the past. Besides the material remains of the past, he grew up with stories of his Mormon pioneer ancestors and an appreciation for how the past continued to influence the present. During the turbulent 1960s, he became interested in Renaissance Italy as a period and place that had been formative for Western civilization. His biggest challenge is finding the time to explore yet another new corner of Italy and its restaurants. Muir received his Ph.D. from Rutgers University, where he specialized in the Italian Renaissance and did archival research in Venice and Florence, Italy. He is now the Clarence L. Ver Steeg Professor in the Arts and Sciences at Northwestern University and former chair of the history department. At Northwestern he has won several teaching awards. His books include Civic Ritual in Renaissance Venice (1981), Mad Blood Stirring: Vendetta in Renaissance Italy (1993 and 1998), Ritual in Early Modern Europe (1997 and 2005), and The Culture Wars of the Late Renaissance: Skeptics, Libertines, and Opera (2007). His books have also been published in Italian. He is the recipient of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Distinguished Achievement Award and is a member of the Academia Europaea and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Some years ago Muir began to experiment with the use of historical trials in teaching and discovered that students loved them. From that experience he decided to write this textbook, which employs trials as a central feature. He lives beside Lake Michigan in Evanston, Illinois. His twin passions are skiing in the Rocky Mountains and rooting for the Chicago Cubs, who manage every summer to demonstrate that winning isn't everything. Meredith Veldman grew up in the western suburbs of Chicago, where she learned to love winter and the Cubs-which might explain her preference for all things impractical and improbable. Certainly that preference is what attracted her to the study of history, filled as it is with impractical people doing the most improbable things. Veldman majored in history at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and then earned a Ph.D. in modern European history, with a concentration in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Britain, from Northwestern University in 1988. As an associate professor of history at Louisiana State University, Veldman teaches courses in nineteenth- and twentieth-century British history and twentieth-century Europe, as well as the second half of "Western Civ." In her many semesters in the Western Civ. classroom, Veldman tried a number of different textbooks but found herself increasingly dissatisfied. She wanted a text that would convey to beginning students at least some of the complexities and ambiguities of historical interpretation, introduce them to the exciting work being done in cultural history, and, most important, tell a good story. The search for this textbook led her to accept the offer made by Levack and Muir to join them in writing T he West: Encounters and Transformations. An award-winning teacher, Veldman is also the author of Fantasy, the Bomb, and the Greening of Britain: Romantic Protest, 1945--1980 (1994) and Margaret Thatcher: Shaping the New Conservatism (2015), and the co-author, with T. W. Heyck, of The Peoples of the British Isles (2014). She and her family ride out the hurricanes in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She remains a Cubs fan and she misses snow.