Book Critique

Book Critique

A critical book critique offers both a description and an evaluation of a book. A history book review locates the book in a historiographical context – the arguments and interpretations of a given historical topic. I realize you are not professional historians but you are critical thinkers and your opinions are just as valid as any historian.

Purchase or check out from a library ONE of the following books and write a minimum 3-4 page typed, double spaced, one inch margin, 12 font, and proof read book critique. Pick a topic that you are interested in. Use your own words. Don’t copy from online professional book reviews or other sources.

The list of books is based on the order of topics we address in History 32. .

Robert Jackson & Edward Castillo, Indians, Franciscans, and Spanish Colonization: The Impact of the Mission System on California Indians University of New Mexico Press, 1995

Douglas Monroy, Thrown Among Strangers: The Making of Mexican Culture in Frontier California University of California Press, 1990

Andrew C. Isenberg, Mining California: An Ecological History Hill and Wang, 2005

JoAnn Levy, They Saw the Elephant: Women in the California Gold Rush University of Oklahoma Press,1992

Roger D. McGrath, Gunfighters, Highwaymen & Vigilantes: Violence on the Frontier University of California Press, 1984

William Deverell, Railroad Crossing: Californians and the Railroad 1850-1910 University of California Press, 1994

Judy Yung, UnBound Feet: A Social History of Chinese Women in San Francisco University of California Press, 1995

Mary E. Odem, Delinquent Daughters-Protecting and Policing Adolescent Female Sexuality in the United States 1885-1920 The University of North Carolina Press, 1995 (Her research focuses on California women & families)

Scott L. Bottles, Los Angeles and the Automobile: The Making of the Modern City University of California Press, 1987

William Deverell, The Rise of Los Angeles and the Remaking of Its Mexican Past University of California Press, 2004

Gilbert G. Gonzalez, Labor and Community: Mexican Citrus Worker Villages in a Southern California County 1900-1950 University of Illinois Press, 1994

Mike Davis, City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles Vintage Books, 1990

Gerald Nash, D. The American West Transformed: The Impact of the Second World War University of Nebrasks, 1985

Eduardo Obregón Pagán , Murder at the Sleepy Lagoon: Zoot Suits, Race, and Riot in Wartime L.A. University of North Carolina Press, 2006

Gerald Horne, Fire This Time: The Watts Uprising And The 1960s University of Virginia Press, 1997

Matthew Dallek, The Right Moment: Ronald Reagan’s First Victory and the Decisive Turning Point in American Politics Oxford University Press, 2000

Format to Follow:

I. Introduction:

A. Author, Title Publisher, City published, Date of publication

II. Body of Paragraphs

In your book critique, you need to answer the following questions and whenever possible provide specific examples and page numbers to support your critique. Write the critique in paragraph form. A paragraph is at minimum five coherent sentences.

• What historiographical issues/theories does the book address?

• Why did the author write the book? Why are they qualified to write on this subject?

• What is the book’s thesis or point of view?

• What evidence is used to support the thesis? How accurate is the evidence? Has relevant or conflicting evidence been omitted?

• How valid is the author’s argument? Is it logical?

• What is your view of the organization of the book and style of writing?

• What is missing from the book?

III. Conclusion:

• What has the book accomplished? Are there any unanswered questions you have regarding this topic?

• Would you recommend this book for future History 32 courses taught? Why or Why not?

Last Updated on February 11, 2019 by EssayPro