In an age when so many people only look forward, THE WESTERN EXPERIENCE combines new and traditional approaches to the past that, combined with an interpretive approach, challenge, stimulate, and engage students. The approach of the authors is appealing to those who want students to come away from their course with more than a grasp of the “facts”, but instead wish students to analyze assumptions and use critical thinking skills. To further this goal, the authors not only see their book as a collection of interpretive essays that can serve as an example of historical writing, but they show and exemplify how historians struggle and deal with the past, for instance by discussing various controversies in history such as the Black Athena question. In addition, while the text presents a chronological survey of the history of Western Civilization, the narrative weaves several recurring themes that are strengthened and highlighted in new ways in this edition. The themes of social structure, the body politic, organization of production and the impact of technology, evolution of the family and changing gender roles, war, religion and cultural expression are laid out at the beginning of each chapter in the form of a color coded grid that the student and instructor will find easy to follow through the narrative.