No advance material is available on this extensive history of the dominant ideas and achievements in politics, science, religion, philosophy, art and architecture. The ""modern"" of the title extends backward in time to 1500 and the implosive effects of the Renaissance and the Reformation. This is a companion volume to the Larousse Encyclopedia of Ancient and Medieval History. The foreword here is by A.J.P Taylor. With more than 500 illustrations, including 32 color plates, this promises to be a very handsome gift as well as reference book.