Reference no: EM131287390
Book Review: Students will review a scholarly book of their choosing from any subject in recent American history. Preferred options include: A Search for Order, Over Here, Freedom from Fear, Voices of Protest, Washington Goes to War, Citizen Soldiers, D-Day, Band of Brothers, The Right Stuff, Grand Expectations, and Restless Giant. If you choose from outside of this list, discuss your choice with the instructor to ensure it meets the requirements for the assignment. Scholarly journals, such as the Journal of American History or the American Historical Reviewprovide excellent examples of good book reviews. The New York Times or The Washington Post also includes book reviews in their weekend editions. Please reference any of these sources for style and content. In some cases, the book you have chosen may have been reviewed by these periodicals. Please adhere to the following guidelines in writing your papers.
1. Reviews should be 5-6 typed, double spaced pages in length. The first page should be headed by the complete bibliographical entry, single spaced; e.g. David Brinkley, Washington Goes to War, New York: Ballantine Books, 1988, Pp. xi+287.
2. Spend the first half of the paper summarizing the book: its thesis or argument, major points, etc. You do not need to summarize in chapter-by-chapter fashion, but do give your reader a basic idea of what the author was trying to accomplish. What type of work is it? (oral history, biography, personal narrative, etc). If the author's background is significant (trained historian, other relevant expertise), you should mention that as well. Does the author's background strengthen or weaken their argument?
3. The latter part of the paper should include an appraisal of the book's strengths and weaknesses. How convincing was the author's argument? What evidence could be included to make it more convincing? Are there any issues with the organization, style, or scope of the book that either enhances or distracts the reader from the main argument? What could the author have done to improve the book? How does the book's thesis agree or disagree with the same material presented in the textbook?
4. Finally, explain the importance of your book in a larger historical context. Where does it fit within the historiography? Is it a landmark book within the field or a smaller addition? This is most often done in the conclusion.