You need to already read one of these books.
Camilla Townsend, Fifth Sun: A New History of the Aztecs
Shūsaku Endō, The Samurai
Timothy Brook, Vermeer’s Hat: The Seventeenth Century and the Dawn of the Global World
Marcus Rediker, The Slave Ship: A Human History
Sven Beckert, Empire of Cotton: A Global History
Adam Hochschild, King Leopold’s Ghost
You will be required to write a paper of 6-8 pages in which you consider the book in terms of A. its thesis and main themes, B. the merit of its arguments, and C. the extent to which it succeeds or fails to convince you, the reader. Feel free to incorporate primary reading and lecture in your course book review, or indeed ask either me or your TAs for guidance. For model examples of book reviews, look no further than the London Review of Books [ lrb.co.uk ]. Be critical, engaged, and interested. Further, it will provide you with a change to see how historians [and in Endo’s case, a novelist] produce history.
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