Silkenat, David. Driven From Home: North Carolina’s Refugee Crisis.

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 Athens, Georgia: The University of Georgia Press, 2016. ISBN#9780820349466  In the academic world, scholarly book reviews are how experts in a particular field keep up with the latest work of their peers. Thus, book reviews in peer-reviewed journals (not popular, meaning read by a mass audience) exist to communicate with other scholars the description and quality, (or lack thereof) of a particular body of scholarship. Below are the integral parts that should be part of your review of Rothman’s work. To write a book review, one must read the book thoroughly and take detailed notes. A. Description of the Topic–Description of the exact historical problem, question, time period the author covers. Here, the reviewer also identifies the kind of history the book covers–whether it be political, social, military, cultural, or biographical. Usually a few sentences should suffice. B. Description of an Argument(s)/theses–All books have one or two very general arguments, and several smaller arguments. The reviewer needs to identify, in his own words what exactly the author’s arguments are. Almost always, the author is attempting to change, alter, or completely overturn another interpretation. Be very careful about miscasting, or misinterpreting the author’s argument. D. Description of the Sources–Here, the reviewer critiques the documentation. Does the author rely on an adequate number of primary sources? The reviewer describes the kind of sources (diaries, government records, financial records, etc.) and whether or not they are sufficient to support the argument. Remember, historians think that the more primary sources(for the most part) a book has, the better its quality. E. Critique or Praise–Identify if the argument(s)/theses described in the book are convincing to you, the reviewer. Here, the reviewer expresses any criticisms or problems with the book. But be very, very careful here. All criticism should be worded professionally. For example, avoid declarative sentences such as “this book simply is just misguided and is written poorly.” Attempt to criticize the work using phrases such as “the author fails to consider..” or “this claim is troublesome..” Reviewers should always explain why they like or dislike the book with specific evidence and rational, logical reading of the book. Criticism for the sake of writing something negative is pointless. –Please consult the handout on formal writing for what the professor expects from students’ prose in these reviews. *Mechanical Requirements: All reviews should be typed, (at least 4 pages) double-spaced, with no bizarre fonts, with ONE inch margins all around. No need to include a bibliography. If the writer chooses to use a direct quote, just reference the page number (33).


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