This short book offers a clear and engaging introduction to the history of humankind, from the earliest movements of people to the contemporary epoch of globalization. Cowen traces this complex history in a manner which offers both a compelling narrative and an analytical and comparative treatment. Drawing on a new perspective on global history, he traces the intersection of change in economics, politics and human beliefs, examining the formation, enlargement and limits of human societies. Global History shows how much of human history encompasses three intersecting forces - trading networks, expanding political empires and crusading creeds. Abandoning the limits of a Eurocentric view of the world, the book offers a number of fresh insights. Its periodization embraces movement across continents and across the millennia. The indigenous American civilizations are included, for instance. The book also ranges over the early civilizations of China and Europe as well as the Russian and Islamic worlds. Modern American and Japanese civilizations are, in addition, a focus for attention. The author examines national and regional histories in relation to wider themes, sequences and global tendencies. In conclusion, he seeks to address the question of the extent to which a global society is beginning to crystallize.