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Book Critique – LIST OF BOOKS HERE >>>>>>> https://docdro.id/HH8Wknd <<<<<<<<<

https://docdro.id/GidkTBk – Book Critique Grading Scale.pdf

https://docdro.id/T9zWA0I – The Chicago Manual of Style Online_ Chicago-Style Citation Quick Guide.pdf

This assignment is a 3-5 page double spaced critique of a book chosen from the list provided to students. It requires you to read the book, and then to find two or more reviews of the book by scholars. These must be from refereed journals or databases like J-Stor or Ebesco. This assignment is not a book report! It requires you to read the book critically, think about what you have read, and be able to demonstrate you understand the book.

Follow this format EXACTLY:


Cite the book here.Example:

Michael Pollan, The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (New York: Penguin, 2006), 99–100.


Philip B. Kurland and Ralph Lerner, eds., The Founders’ Constitution (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987),

accessed February 28, 2010, http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/.


Cite the scholarly reviews you found here.Example:

Gueorgi Kossinets and Duncan J. Watts, “Origins of Homophily in an Evolving Social Network,” American Journal of Sociology 115 (2009): 411, accessed February 28, 2010, doi:10.1086/599247.


Explain the main ideas of the book here. At least a paragraph. Example:

“The main idea of the book was about how societies fail, and do so for five main reasons.

Those five main reasons are: environmental damage, climate change, hostile neighbors,

friendly trade partners, and lastly the society’s responses to its environmental problems.

The very last of the reasons was further discussed in detail on three different subjects that

include: the two different approaches to managing environmental problems (top-

down/bottom-up), whether the responses to the environmental problem are successful or

a failure because of three factors (economics, industry attitudes, and society’s attitudes),

and why a society or group of people makes disastrous decisions (failure to anticipate a

problem, failure to perceive it once it has arisen, failure to attempt to solve it after it has

been perceived, and failure to succeed in attempts to solve it).”


Discuss the sources the book uses here. At least a paragraph. Example:

“The sources that were used by the author were books written by other authors, scientific

journals, personal experience, and personal accounts from individuals through interviews.

Jared Diamond referenced to numerous other authors and their books like Montana: An

Uncommon Land by K. Ross Toole in chapter one when discussing the plight of Montana

or Incidents of Travel in Central America, Chipas and Yucatan by John Stephens in

chapter five that discusses the Maya civilization. He used scientific journals like the

Chemosphere used in the prologue or the Journal of New World Archaeology in chapter

two. He uses his personal experiences early on the book in chapter one when talking

about Montana, which he visits quite often and interviews people who live there that are

among his friends that attribute to the personal stories found in that chapter.”


Explain the approach the book takes in discussing and defining the Problems. For example, does the author use other fields of knowledge (like archaeology) or techniques of historiography (like oral interviews)? At least a paragraph. Example:

“The book takes a logical and straight forward approach in discussing and defining the

problems examined within the book by using specialized fields of study. On numerous

occasions throughout the book, he uses archaeology, palynology, and dendroclimatology

as direct evidence of all of the five reasons why societies fail. From archaeological sites

from the numerous societies discussed in the book there has been evidence that showed if

that particular society was active in trade commerce, had hostile neighbors, and the size

of a particular civilization. Dendroclimatology and palynology were used mainly for the

first two reasons for collapse, environmental damage and climate change. Palynology

was used by taking samples from a specific place in where the pollen of particular species

was calculated and recorded and showed if trees were the vast majority of fauna or if

grasses and small plants were. This has been scientific evidence that supported whether a

region was deforested by its population or not because of wood used in building

structures or creating coal for heating or cooking purposes. When using

dendroclimatology, it was determined approximately when there was a dry or wet season

by the width and number of tree rings. This offered archaeologists information about

persisting droughts or seasons of more than adequate rainfall that promoted growth of

plants. “

Major Theses:

Select at least four quotes from the book. These should be quotes you think express the main ideas presented by the author. You will need to explain how and why in your own words. After each quote be sure to put the page numbers in parentheses. DO NOT FOOTNOTE THE QUOTES! After each quote you will explain, in your own words, how the quote relates to the main ideas you identified in the Problems, Sources, and Methods section and why the quote is a Major Thesis of the book. At least four paragraphs.


“Thus, Norse society’s structure created a conflict between the short-term interests of

those in power, and the long-term interests of the society as a whole” (pg. 276). What this

quote is saying is that the Norse Greenland society was undone by a corrupt top-down

approach when dealing with environmental problems. The Norse Greenland society

eventually collapsed because they lived in an environment in which they did not adapt to

and held onto Christian cultural ideals that initially made them successful, but eventually

was their undoing……”

There need to be at least four of these from throughout the book.

Scholarly Dialogue:

The Scholarly Dialogue explains what the scholars whose critiques of the book you found think of the book and its contribution to our understanding of the Problems. The Scholarly Dialogue will be quotes from the reviews you found with page numbers (from the reviews not the book in this case) in parentheses next to them. Comment on the Scholarly Dialogue in your own words. At least a paragraph. Example:

“All three of the scholarly reviews are in similar agreement as to say that Diamond had

some compelling points in his book and asked the right questions. Kennedy calls

Diamonds book “stunningly erudite tour of societies past and present” (1). He believes

that Diamond was accurate and precise in his approach throughout the book with the only

modification to add the devastating effects of overpopulation and advanced technology.

Scott seems to have a slightly negative attitude to Diamond’s claims to go as far to say…..


This assignment is not a book report! It requires you to read the book critically and be able to demonstrate you understand the book.

First you need to read the book. You should be looking for the main ideas as you do this and make a note of them as they will be the heart of the Problems, Sources, and Methods. The Problem, Sources, Methods part should be your own original words and your understanding of what the book is about and how the author approached writing it.

You will want to identify passages that might be Major Theses. Remember that you will need to explain these in your own words to show your understanding of them and why you chose them as Major Theses. They should be found throughout the book and not just in a small part of it.

The Major Theses themselves and the Scholarly Dialogue are not your own words. But which passages you select for inclusion in your paper will reflect your original thinking and analytical ability. How you relate the passages you selected to the Problems, Sources, and Methods in your own words will show your understanding of the book’s ideas.

You will want to find two or three good reviews of the book. At least one of these MUST come from a scholarly journal (such as The Journal of Modern History, The American Historical Review, The Journal of Roman Studies or any other similar refereed publication.) OR from EBESCO; J-STOR, or Academic Search Premiere. These are available online through databases. The College library subscribes to these.The reviews must be cited. The reviews and the comments of the scholars must be discussed in Scholarly Dialogue.

Above all follow the Book Critique assignment guidelines and format EXACTLY.


Thank You


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