Book Review of Myne Owne Ground, Race and Freedom on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, 1640-1676

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A book review is a critical assessment of a book. It does not summarize a book; a book report presents a summary of the work but is not a review. Your book review will evaluate the job the author attempted to achieve. You will be making a judgment as to whether the author proved the projected thesis of the work.
Handwritten reviews will not be accepted. Take note of the due date of the review which is on the lecture schedule. For examples of how to write a book review using the proper form and format, consult the book review section of the following journals located in the library: Journal of Negro Histo Journal of African American History Journal of American History Journal of Southern History or American Historical Review.
Your review must include the following:
1. Identify the author’s main theme/thesis. As a reviewer you must make this clear in your opening paragraphs.
2. Use specific examples from the book to support the author’s main theme/thesis. Cite page numbers of your example in proper book review form (p. 2). See the journals for samples of the proper citation format in a book review.
3. Evaluate whether the author proved his/her points. Cite examples to prove your position. Should the author not prove their point, provide examples of that too. Whatever criticism or arguments you have, provide an explanation in support.
4. State the strengths and weaknesses of the book, was it dry or boring? Give examples.
5. What could the author have done to improve the work, if anything, give specific examples.
6. In your conclusion, state whether you think the work was important in the context of the field the author is writing about and its historical significance. State whether the book added to your understanding of the subject.
Finally, read the title, table of contents, preface, introduction, and back cover and then think about what the book may be about. Some of these should tell you what the thesis of the work is to be. The thesis is central to understanding any scholarly work. It is a statement or theory put forward and supported by arguments by the author. Bear in mind that every chapter is written to prove the author’s thesis.

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