Social Movement: Book (From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation)

A critical review has two goals: first, to inform the reader about the content of the book, and second, to provide an evaluation that gives your judgment of the book’s quality. Your introduction should include an overview of the book that both incorporates an encapsulated summary and a sense of your general judgment. This is the equivalent to a thesis statement. The summary should consist of a discussion and highlights of the major arguments, features, trends, concepts, themes, ideas, and characteristics of the book. 1. What is your overall opinion of the book? On what basis has this opinion been formulated? That is, tell the reader what you think and how you arrived at this judgment. What did you expect to learn when you picked up the book? To what extent – and how effectively – were your expectations met? Did you nod in agreement (or off to sleep)? Did you wish you could talk back to the author? Explain your reactions. 2. Identify the author’s thesis and explain it in your own words. How clearly and in what context is it stated and, subsequently, developed? To what extent and how effectively (i.e., with what kind of evidence) is this thesis proven? Use examples to amplify your responses. If arguments or perspectives were missing, why do you think this might be? Again, here, think about the role of health. 3. What are the author’s aims? How well have they been achieved, especially with regard to the way the book is organized? Are these aims supported or justified? (You might look back at the introduction to the book for help). How closely does the organization follow the author’s aims? 4. How are the author’s main points presented, explained, and supported? What assumptions lie behind these points? What would be the most effective way for you to compress and/or reorder the author’s scheme of presentation and argument? 5. How effectively does the author draw claims from the material being presented? Are connections between the claims and evidence made clearly and logically? Here you should definitely use examples to support your evaluation. 6. What conclusions does the author reach and how clearly are they stated? Do these conclusions follow from the thesis and aims and from the ways in which they were developed? In other words, how effectively does the book come together? 7. Identify the assumptions made by the author in both the approach to and the writing of the book. For example, what prior knowledge does the author expect readers to possess? How effectively are those assumptions worked into the overall presentation? What assumptions do you think should not have been made? Why? 8. Are you able to detect any underlying philosophy of social change held by the author (e.g., would you imagine this author agrees with Pine? Chan? Others)? If so, what evidence supports this? And, how does this philosophy affect the presentation of the argument? 9. Does the author’s presentation seem fair and accurate? Is the interpretation biased? Can you detect any distortion, exaggeration, or diminishing of material? If so, for what purpose might this have been done, and what effect does hit have on the overall presentation? The book review must have a clear argument (i.e. thesis, in this case, it will be your summation and evaluation of the book you are reviewing) that follows through each paragraph which similarly each must have a topic sentence supported by the paragraph content. You should bring in 2-3 other readings to help support your interpretations.

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