Volume IV, the last and final volume of this world history series, spans three pressure-filled centuries from 1708 to 2014. Starting with Bach and Handel, two of four major composers included in Volume IV, the time period will see numerous “wars of independence.” From the American colonies, the heart of Mexico, the goldmines of Australia, the mountaintops of South America, the shores of Greece, and the walls of the Alamo, we will find mankind desperately striving for liberty and freedom through the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Most of the time, he will achieve it—but seldom without heartache, revolution, and bloodshed!
On a less tangible battlefield, we will also see in this volume several “wars of ideologies” meaning that we will see the world “take sides” behind invisible lines on their views toward Marxism, Darwinism, Fascism, and the Cold War. Of course, before we get to the Cold War, we will see nations catapulted into two pain-ridden World Wars in the twentieth century with the rise of Lenin, Mussolini, Stalin, Hitler, and Emperor Hirohito. Unfortunately, the stories of these notorious dictators will require a deep, pensive look at the Gulag system in the Soviet Union, the Holocaust in Europe, and the atomic bombs dropped on Japan. All are difficult topics that need to be examined to learn valuable lessons from history! Some lessons are still being learned, as we will also look at modern man’s struggle with a collapsed Soviet Union, a divided Korea, tension in the Middle East, and an ongoing War on Terror.
Now, as violent as parts of this volume will be (and which may require screening for young students), we will take time to meet the artists, inventors, writers, and humanitarians who contributed toward the “soul” of mankind over the last three centuries. And, we will join the missionaries and adventurers who journeyed to inland China, the wilds of Africa, the South Pole, and the gray, speckled surface of the moon. I watched the first moon walk when I was a kid, and so this volume has encroached upon my own personal timeline, as it will yours (somewhere along the way) to make recent historical events that much more meaningful.
While a great deal of American history will be included (such as the American Revolution, the War Between the States, the War in Vietnam, the Civil Rights movement, and more) this volume will not necessarily replace American history for those students seeking to fill a requirement. My hope is that American students will see U.S. history in a broader, more relevant manner when it is woven into the fabric of world history events. Can you use this volume to dovetail American history? Absolutely, but I kept this book a world history text for the sake of all my readers, here and abroad.
The last and final chapter of The Mystery of History series will look at what is to come, as outlined in the Book of Revelation. This final peek at “end times” will not follow any single view of eschatology, but it will take students to the final chapters of Revelation, where we are given a profound picture of a new heaven and a new earth. That my friend, is the hope of the “mystery” of history – that there is an eternal plan for believers, revealed through Scripture and delivered by the atoning blood of Christ.
About the Format . . .
Let me quickly explain the format of this volume. Like Volume III, the stories of Volume IV are contained in a colorful, hardback Student Reader. But with the purchase of the Student Reader, you are going to get much more! My publisher has decided to put the Companion Guide (a separate book of pretests, activities, quizzes, timeline directions, mapping exercises, and literature suggestions) on a CD-ROM in the back of the Student Reader. With a larger segment of “Older Students” using this volume for a high school world history credit, we wanted to keep everything together for convenience and to help all students maximize the full benefits of the program. In other words, you’re getting all the bells and whistles in one purchase! We will continue to offer supplements to those that want Challenge Cards, Coloring Pages, Notebooking Pages, and Folderbooks. Some of these products have already been created, and are available for purchase.
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