Civil War History
This is a book review for the book titled “All For The Union” The Civil War Diary and Letters of Elisha Hunt Rhodes. The book is edited by Robert Hunt Rhodes and the forward is by Geoffrey c. Ward.
This book review is for a Civil War and Reconstruction History course.
The Only Source required is the book itself. No other cite or source is required.
The next set of instructions are coming from my professor. Please follow this.
1. Find the thesis/argument/point of view/purpose and the conclusion. Construct an interesting first paragraph to introduce the subject to the reader and gain his/her attention.
2.Do not summarize. While you should not summarize, you should give the reader a sense of what the book is about, how the author has presented it, and whether you are convinced by the author’s argument. A comment on some particular aspect of the author’s argument will make the review more interesting.
3. The Heading for a book review is similar to the citation for a footnote or endnote –author, title, (any information on the title page such as translator, revised edition, editor, etc.), publisher, place and date of publication, and the total number of pages in the book.
Example: John Young, The History of Irish Crime, Smith Publishers, Inc, Happyville, NJ 2005. Pp.320.
4. The reviewer should note the author’s thesis/argument/purpose (usually found in the Introduction or Preface), comment on the method of organization, identify the kind of history it is (military, political, social, women’s, etc.), and the author’s conclusion.
5. It is the option of the reviewer to choose how to present this information keeping in mind that a book review is an essay and should follow all the rules of such not the least of which is to entertain as well as engage and to inform the reader. The review should also indicate any main points made by the author.
6.Students should not use first person references when writing, but remain objective: that is, no use of me, my, I, we, us, our, and don’t use “one” as a pronoun. You may be personal in the final conclusion, however.
7.The object of the review is for the reviewer to inform the reader of the above topics but also to indicate the effectiveness shown by the author in meeting his/her purpose. A description of the work, how it compares to other works on the subject (historiography), the author’s previous works, etc. should be included. It may help for student reviewers to consider the following questions:
• Was the organization of the work confusing (not chronological, no chapter titles to indicate topic, failure to summarize at the end of chapters, etc.)?
• What is the work about? What is its scope? What are the author’s main points?
• What materials did the author use to document sources (government documents, autobiographies, memoirs, newspapers, etc.)?
• Did the bibliography include primary sources? Were they listed separately from secondary sources? Were they annotated? Were there appendices giving additional information? Was there an index, etc.?
• The reviewer might want to indicate a clever or interesting use of classical, literary, or other comparison (Did the author quote the Bible, Homer, poetry or such)?
• If there are other books on the topic, how does this one differ from those? What has the author brought to the subject that is new?
• If there were words you did not understand, did you look them up? Can you comment on them?
8. Finally, the reviewer should give his/her opinion of the overall work. It is not acceptable to say, “This was a good book and I think everyone should read it.” Instead, comment on the strong points of the work, a mention of the weak points and a final approval or disapproval is best. (More sophisticated reviews would include a comparison with other authors’ treatments of the same subject/topic).