Book Review

For historians, a book review is an opportunity both to assess the quality of a historical work and to place the author’s argument in conversation with other scholarship. At its best, therefore, a quality review synthesizes the arguments of the historian, assesses the quality of the research, and comprehends the historiographic significance of the work. It is a genre in which historians must be fluent both as writers and readers.

In this assignment, you will be reviewing one of three books we read this semester (Women of the Republic, Unruly Americans, or American Scripture). In your review, you should lay out the argument of the book, identify its major strengths and weaknesses, and assess the historiographic contributions of the book.

You may find it helpful to consult book reviews in some of the major journals in the field (William and Mary Quarterly, Journal of the Early Republic, etc.) available via JSTOR and Project MUSE, but you should not read reviews of the book you are writing about.


  • Approximately 750 words (excluding footnotes)
  • Make reference to Wood, The American Revolution and at least two other secondary sources from the course reading
  • Citations should be in Chicago Manual of Style format
  • Submit the paper via Dropbox by 12:30 pm on Monday, December 11.
  • Any review uploaded after 12:30 pm on the due date will be assessed a late penalty of 5 points per day. No reviews will be accepted after 12:30 pm on Monday, December 18.