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The Great Crash 1929 by John Kenneth Galbraith. ISBN: 9780140136098.
-Choose and read a non-fiction book covering a topic or theme that occurred after the U.S. Civil War (after 1865)
-Books must be at least 200 pages in length and approved by the instructor
-Books must have been published in the 20th or 21st centuries – preferably after the 1960’s
-Your paper should be between 1000 to 1250 words (not including header, title, etc.), which comes out to roughly 3 to 4 pages in length.
-While book reviews are typically written as an analysis, for class purposes, I would like a fairly detailed summary of the contents of the book, say about 1½ to 2 pages surveying the contents.
-It will probably will be necessary to refer to specific portions of the book to illustrate your statements and conclusions, but it is generally not advisable to quote extensively from it. -Theme: Your review needs a central argument, like any academic essay. How can you sum up your evaluation of the book, providing a theme around which you can organize your review? Considering the author’s purpose in writing/the thesis/argument, did you find the work generally successful, partially successful, flawed, etc? How can you use this central argument in your introduction and conclusion?
When reviewing a book, you may want to consider/answer some of the following questions:
What is the book’s purpose/main argument? Is it stated explicitly or inferred?
Does the author convince you of the validity of their thesis/argument? In other words, is the body of the work, the individual chapters, convincing?
Which chapters were most persuasive and why? Consider which chapters interested you the most?
Which chapters, if any, were unconvincing and why?
Who seems to be the intended audience for the book? Does it succeed in reaching this audience?
How is the book structured? (chronologically, thematically, or other)
Does the book’s structure (its various parts and chapters) reinforce its larger argument? How?
What kinds of sources, or examples, does the book offer in support of its argument, and which are most (and least) effective? Why?
Does the book engage other writers’ works on the same subject and, even if not, how would you position the book in relation to other texts you are aware of on the same subject (texts you have read for class, for example)?
Does the author seem biased or prejudiced in any way and, if so, is that prejudice or bias the product of the author’s own background, as far as you can tell?
Considering the style of the book, is the book well written? Is it easy to understand? Does it flow well? Is the writing dense and heavy with jargon, making it hard to grasp? Does the author show a flair for effective writing that goes beyond simple communication? Does the writing make the book more interesting?
How persuasive is the book (if certain aspects are more persuasive than others, explain why)
What does the author conclude? Does the conclusion answer the question(s) laid out in the introduction?
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