Fischer (PR’s Ride) or Fischer (W’s Crossing)
Write a review that offers a thoughtful assessment of the book.
Be sure to answer the following questions in your review:
• Why did the author undertake to write a book on his chosen subject?
• What question or questions does the author set out to answer?
• What is the main thesis presented by the author?
• How does the author develop his thesis?
• In what ways does his view accord with and enlarge our view of Revolutionary America?
IMPORTANT NOTES AND TIPS: Given the relatively short paper length of this review assignment, organization will be critical. I strongly suggest that you adopt the following organizational structure:
I. Opening Paragraph (up to ½ page long)
a. Introduce the book
i. What is its subject?
ii. What is the author’s angle on this subject? (What questions does he pose?)
iii. What is the author’s main thesis?
b. State your thesis—i.e., presents a one- or two-sentence statement that sums up your academic assessment of how the book enlarges our view of US history.
II. Paper-Body (roughly 4 pages long): presents how the author develops his thesis.
III. Paper-Conclusion (roughly ½-page long): presents your academic assessment (thesis) of the book.
REGARDING PART II: The greatest challenge of this kind of essay assignment occurs in writing Part II (in the above outline). This part requires you to break up the entire book in sensible (digestible) parts. To do so, you will want to arrange your paragraphs around the important stages of the book (from beginning to end), which, in turn, fills in the big picture of the author’s thesis.
Organize the paper around the thesis-stages/backbone of the book (from beginning to end)—points that suggest the overarching thesis of the book. With this in mind, refrain from organizing your paper in a disjointed fashion strictly around the book’s table of contents or the storyline itself (writing paragraphs that begin: “In chapter one…,” “In chapter two…,” “This happens; Then, this other thing happens, etc.” “Also, the author notes,” etc.). There ought to be an implicit or explicit connection between these main points (the use of “also” typically marks a missed opportunity to draw connections).
NOT EXACTLY A BOOK REPORT: Do not neglect the storyline that the author presents in the book to develop his thesis. Yet, keep in mind: this IS a “book review,” NOT a “book report.” Do not attempt to recap or distill all the information—all of the story bits—conveyed in the book (this would be tedious for you, the writer, and me, the reader, anyway). You will need to convey specific examples that the author presents to substantiate these points. However, it will be neither possible nor desirable to cover them all; simply select the ones that you find most illustrative as you move the story along to your reader.
NOT EXACTLY A HISTORY REPORT: The assignment ought not to be approached strictly-speaking as a “history report”—for example, strictly a report on Paul Revere, Founding Fathers, whatever the topic of the book is. Instead, this is a critical review essay about an author’s perspective on a historical topic. Frame your paper accordingly—i.e., around the book (around the author’s thesis-stages/arguments about what happened), not simply around the historical event itself (the author’s perspective ought to be explicitly at the forefront of this section of your paper, not in the background).
REGARDING PART III: Consider Part II a setup for Part III. Note also that I refer to your thesis above as “academic” in order to underscore the point that the paper ought NOT to sound like a “movie” or “restaurant review”—that is, based on personal tastes and opinions (e.g., “I like the part where he writes about…”). Instead, draw from course lectures and readings (i.e., the other monographs) to reflect upon what is historically insightful and illuminating about the book. You might consider, for example, how the book enlarges our understanding of subsequent stages of history. Or, for example, you might consider how the book (in exposing/correcting common misconceptions about the subject) reveals current intellectual biases (baggage) that we tend to impose on this subject. Or, for example, you might explain what meaningful and useful lessons does the reader stand to gain from reading this story of America’s past? All in all, feel free to establish a creative perspective in this section.
Here is another way of looking at this assignment: Imagine that you are an historian who has been asked (by an academic publication) to critically assess this book for the benefit of other historians (who have not presumably read it yet). This will entail two important components after the introduction: 1) a thoughtful presentation of the main arguments of the author (Part II); 2) a thoughtful argument (your thesis) about how the book illuminates important aspects of Revolutionary America (Part III). Thus, this last part invites you to step outside the confines of the author’s argument, and bridge it to other, broader aspects of this history (presumably drawing from other sources of the course (i.e., monographs and/or lectures), from which you have established your “expertise.”
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF OUR PROMOTIONAL DISCOUNT DISPLAYED ON THE WEBSITE AND GET A DISCOUNT FOR YOUR PAPER NOW!