Ritical Book Review: Jeffrey Eugenides, Middlesex (Toronto: Vintage Canada, 2003) 

These are some general guidelines. The book review MUST contain Critical analysis of the book. Not just a synopsis. I will also upload a sample book review, which should give the writer an example of what the review should contain.

Please find the info Below:

Hello class:

Book reviews are a big part of many top academic journals, particularly in the arts, humanities and social sciences.

It might be useful for students to consult some of these journals to get a taste of whats expected.

There are many journals out there, so Ill list a few that that publish reviews that are relatively the same length as those required for this course.

The Canadian Historical Review
The American Historical Review
The American Review of Canadian Studies

Reading several of the book reviews these journals provide will give you an idea as to what your finished product should resemble. Of course, these are purely for your guidance but they might prove very useful & wont take much of your time.
These journals are in the basement level of Weldon and I believe most are accessible on-line too.

As well, one student asked me if they must write in third person.
For this assignment, Ill accept first-person writing if you so chose.

Remember, whats important here is your critical analysis of the book.
Of course, to do that properly your writing must also be sound -so make sure to read your work over a couple times.



SAMPLE ESSAY:


Rory Muirs  Britain and the Defeat of Napoleon

Britain first went to war against France not only to stem the tide of revolution that threatened the established order in Europe, but because of the very real possibility that France would conquer the Low Countries (modern Belgium and Holland), which would give them total domination of the Continental side of the English Channel, thus posing a threat to British naval power in the region. Even with the spectre of a French-dominated Europe hanging over their heads, though, the British government was loathe to commit large numbers of men to operations on the continent for a variety of reasons. They could not hope to dispatch enough troops to counter the large armies that the French could put in the field. Government finances were also in such a state that a financial crisis in 1797 precipitated a run on the treasury and forced the government to rely on paper money . There was also a measure of political instability on the home front, with turmoil in London and the declining health of King George III.
With this book, Muir makes an effort to fill gaps in the history of the Peninsular War, allowing us to see the role played by events such as this, as well as by various government ministers and military commanders. He also endeavors to show the importance of economy in the conflict, from subsidies for allied armies and the impact of the Continental System. The logistical and communication difficulties of the age are also laid bare, particularly for Britain, with its island position and far flung naval operations.
Britain and the Defeat of Napoleon begins with a chapter summarizing the war from 1793, when Britain first declared war on Revolutionary France, until 1807, when Napoleon sent an army into Portugal after its government refused to accede to the Continental System, the economic campaign meant to isolate the British Isles from European trade and thus reduce their economic capacity to continue the war.
The bulk of the book concerns the Peninsular War, which was a struggle between France and the allied forces of the United Kingdom, Spain, and Portugal. Napoleons troops entered Portugal in 1807 and Spain in 1808, and the stage was set for a protracted campaign that would consume Allied resources until 1814, shortly before the Emperors abdication.
The Spanish, at first allies of the French, soon found themselves also the victim of Napoleons ambition. In February 1808, he ordered his troops, ostensibly in Spain on their way to reinforce the army in Portugal, to seize key Spanish fortresses. The Spanish government at the time was unpopular, and their army lacked a General Staff, handicapping their ability to form a cohesive defensive strategy against an enemy that was already their superior in many regards.
The British government, as yet lacking the strength or initiative to launch a protracted campaign on Continental Europe, watched the increase of French troops in Spain with growing alarm. They were not without their intelligence assets in the country, and stayed well informed of developments through back channel communications conducted by Spanish generals and the commander of the Gibraltar garrison. There were also three British diplomats in Spain on a mission concerning British prisoners of war and an operation by the government to introduce spies, but this last effort was largely unsuccessful.
The Peninsular War, or rather preparations for it, can be said to have begun with the rising against the French in Portugal and Spain. The British government responded a short time after the Spanish rising with a declaration that they would render material assistance to any province that rose up against Napoleon. The rebellious provinces were at first divided over the issue of whether or not to request direct British military aid, due both to overconfidence and a concentration of the old Spanish army, which had not gone over to the side of the new government. In June of 1808, 39-year old Sir Arthur Wellesley, who had made a name for himself in India, was appointed to lead a British army that would shortly be dispatched to the Peninsula.
Prior to launching the campaign in Iberia, the extent of direct British involvement on the mainland of Europe had been limited to a series of small expeditions and several failures. Without strong allies in the region, there was little desire to get directly involved again by the British until the Portuguese and Spanish uprisings. The book goes on to chart the advance of the British army, along with their Portuguese and Spanish allies, the latter of constantly doubtful quality, through Portugal, into Spain, and then in the final days of the war, into France itself. The British campaign in the Iberian Peninsula tied up a considerable portion of the French army that could have otherwise reinforced the grand army gathered together for the invasion of Russia.
Muir writes in a style rather reminiscent of older works from before the popularity of  social history , but at the same time it is also a fresh take on the so-called  grand narrative method, which concerns itself with a broader level of affairs. This book deals with the Napoleonic War from a British point of view, but it does not concern itself only with military affairs, dealing also with the economic and political-diplomatic struggles that Britain fought for so many years, first against Revolutionary France and then against the considerable forces of the Napoleonic Empire. This gives valuable context to the war by showing many of the factors which weighed upon it and influenced the decisions of those in positions of influence, both at home and in the field.
The dominating figure in this work is Sir Arthur Wellesley, better known to most people as the Duke of Wellington. Muir thinks quite highly of his abilities as a general, less so of his diplomatic skills. His picture of the Duke is not the perfect soldier, rather it is a Cromwellian  warts and all picture of a man who was a brilliant soldier, but lacking as a diplomat and who frequently petitioned his government for more men and funds with which to continue his campaign, and who sometimes complained when he did not get his way. This habit that Wellington shares with many other military commanders throughout history, thus perhaps lessening its severity as a fault. This book does give a sense that Wellington performed quite well with what he had, even if it wasnt everything he wanted.
Muir also touches on the importance of the Battle of Waterloo. The war as a whole, and this last grand battle in particular