History book reviews | History Extra
The purpose of thecritical book review for history is to share information about an historicaltopic - it is not a book report that summarizes the content. Historiography isthe history of writing on a particular topic. The historical source underreview is usually secondary, that is, it is about an event in history that theauthor has contributed some new information. The review is critical in that itdiscusses and evaluates the significance of this new information. Book reviewsalso provide the historian with a thumbnail sketch of the contents - that maybe very useful in research work. Writing a book review requires that you assessthe books strengths and weaknesses as they pertain to historiography - it isnot a literary review. You should also tell the reader why you liked ordisliked the book.
History Book Reviews - Historum - History Forums
Like many of mypeers, I was a third-year student in a fourth-year class expected to write atthe fourth-year level. The transition to upper level writing across thedisciplines can be traumatic for the unprepared. Many of us had never written acritical book review for history, and not all of us were history majors. Anumber of students dropped out of the course after writing their first criticalbook review in history simply because they did not know what was required anddid not conduct the research to find out. The critical book review in historyis unique to the discipline and a skill that is expected to be mastered byhistory students after their first year. Understanding whata critical book review in history issupposed to consist of is the first step in writing one.
I have included abook review for illustration purposes. In my first attempt to do a criticalbook review I examined a number of critical book reviews in history in searchofthe common elements. Examining thework of others can provide invaluable information. I would recommend that youread a number of book reviews if you are uncomfortable about writing. I thinkthe following book review is a good example of a critical book review inhistory. The entire review is less than two pages, approximately 650 words,that also fits the criteria for most upper level assignments.