Critical book review essay
The goal of this critical book review essay is to summarize and assess the merits of Lisa Gilman’s, My Music My War: The Listening Habits of U.S. Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. This critical review will be based on course lectures, readings, and discussions. Choosing one or two select topics or themes, summarize the author’s findings and discuss the methods through which the author arrived at those findings. Your analysis should be informed by the readings as well as our class discussions. Where necessary, support your argument with references to specific passages in the text, citing all quotations parenthetically (Page #).
This essay should be approximately 1200 words (no less than 1100 nor more than 1500), typed, 12 point font, double spaced, and submitted via the course website.
200 points are possible for this project, based on the following criteria.
Introduction (10 points)
Begin with a very brief introduction to the text. Provide a basic setting for its publication, and state your thesis/argument regarding its utility in understanding the role of music in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
Summary (20 points)
Choose a broad issue or theme from the text that you found particularly provocative, surprising, or controversial. Summarize the author’s data, conclusions, and methods on this issue.
Argument Analysis (40 points)
Assess the author’s argument on this particular issue. Do you agree or disagree? Take a stand. Have a point. Provide examples from the text (or from your own life) to support your claim. Discuss the author’s findings in terms of your chosen issue. Analyze the text in terms of both form (how the book is written) and content (the information being conveyed).
How could this book be improved?
What questions are left unanswered?
How would you have approached this issue differently?
Significance / Conclusions (30 points)
Assess the book as a whole, discussing its merits and deficiencies.
Why is this book / topic important?
And did the author succeed in accomplishing his goals?
How would you extend this analysis in new directions?
Note: A balanced critical examination of another scholar’s work emphasizes strengths while also recognizing weaknesses or blind spots, and also seeks out ways to extend the given analysis into new territory.