The battle of Blair mountain: the story of Americas largest labor uprising

West Virginia History 209
Fall 2022
Guidelines for Book Reviews

A book review is required for this course. The book can be
chosen by the student, but must be approved by the instructor.
Check-out the Suggestions for Further Reading section of your
textbook if do not have a book in mind. It should be a scholarly
work dealing with West Virginia history Each review should be
3-5 pages long, double-spaced with 12 point font. Citations
(footnotes or endnotes) are not required, but if you use another
book in your review, mention it in body of your report. The
review, which constitutes 100 points or one-fifth of your final
grade, is due on Nov. 10

1. Introduction: Identify the book you are going to review. The
author, title, date and place of publication should be placed at
the beginning of the essay in the form of a bibliographic citation
Then state what the author’s goal was in writing the book.

2. Summary: In the main body of the review, you should
describe the major points and arguments of the book. This
should be the main body of the review. But, you will have to
condense. Learn to summarize!

3. Critical Assessment: Evaluate the book’s contribution to our
understanding of history: a) Look for the author’s thesis or
central argument. This is not the same as the topic, but it is the
overall direction of the work. It’s usually stated in the
introduction or conclusion of the book. But, beware, some
general historical surveys lack an explicit thesis. b) Identify the
author’s perspective, point of view, his or her political views, or
emphasis (such as economic, social or intellectual history). c)
Look at the author’s evidence: what sources did he or she use?

4. Conclusion: Evaluate the book, focusing on style and clarity.
Is it well-organized and clearly written? What type of audience
would find it valuable? Is it an important book for those who
want to learn more about this historical period. Did you find it
interesting? Would your professor find it interesting?