Book Review on any of the Suggested Titles
Textbook that must be used for FIVE terms that must be included in review is “Anthropology: Appreciating Human Diversity” 15th ed. By Conrad Phillip Kottak. Use the text as a source too. Also, I would prefer the review be done on one of the books about Zora Neale Hurston’s fieldwork if possible (#9 on title list).**
Paper Option #1 Book Review
Late papers will not be accepted.
Directions and Grading Rubric:
This book review is designed to meet the objective of the class encompassing the application of
concepts from the text which you will apply to specific information you encounter in the book you read.
Write a Book Review of one of the following books:
1. Outcasts United: A Refugee Team, an American Town by Warren St. John. ( This book is a
form of an ethnography which, in this case was written by a New York Times journalist about Clarkston,
2. The Middle of Everywhere: Helping Refugees Enter The American Community by Mary
Pipher. (This book is a form of urban ethnography by an anthropologist/psychologist who lives in the
3. The Culture Code: An Ingenious Way to Understand Why People Around the World Live and
Buy as they Do by Clotaire Papaille. (This book describes the emotional – enculturation connection
which creates core values and shows how it works. The author is a French anthropologist.)
4. What is the What by Dave Eggers. (A novel based on the true story of a Sudanese man who came
to Clarkston, GA. to find a home.)
5. Jared Diamond’s book: Guns, Germs and Steel. This book posits a theory as to why and how the
cultures of the Northern Hemisphere came to dominate the cultures of the Southern Hemisphere.
6. Nicholas Kristof’s book: Half the Sky. His mission is to bring awareness to the plight of women in
today’s world as the worst human rights crisis going.
7. Richard Wragman’s book: Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human. A primatologist and
anthropologist who spent forty years observing wild chimps to understand what transitions contributed
to our evolution. He is professor of Biological Anthropology at Harvard University.
8. Daniel Levitin’s book: The World in Six Songs; How the Musical Brain Created Human Nature.
9. Zora Neale Hurston, first Black woman anthropologist, graduate of Barnard College and Columbia
University. Born 1891 in Notasalga, AL. , died 1960 in Fort Pierce, Fl. Her fieldwork included : Tell My Horse: Voodoo in Jamaica and Haiti, among many others. (Alice Walker edited an anthology of Zora Neale Hurston’s writings entitled: I Love Myself When I am Laughing. There is a festival in her honor in Eatonville, FL. Every January and one in Ft. Pierce in April, “Zorafest”.)
10. Isabel Fonseca’s book: Bury Me Standing; The Gypsy experience in Eastern Europe. Interesting field work report from the early 1990s.
11. Andrew Westoll’s The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary: A True Story of Resilience and Recovery.
Winner of the Charles Taylor Prize, published by Harper Collins, 2012.
Ethnographies are either studies of one culture by an anthropologist or a journalist / novelist, who has
lived with the people being studied: or, a survey of various cultures for comparative analyses. The
authors of these books have lived in the communities they write about for over a year in order to
understand the day to day lives of the refugees.
Obtaining the book:
I recommend that you start early – the first week – to get your book. It is possible to obtain the books
from the public library, the college library, or, you may purchase them online from Amazon.com, or
other sources, as a used book. Your first task, then, is to read the entire book and take notes on the
major themes and ideas of the book chapter by chapter.Your paper will be graded on the following:
Organizing Your Review:
Think of this as an extended essay. Organize your information so that one idea follows another. To make sure, before turning in your paper, read your review out loud and ask yourself how it sounds and if someone who hadn’t read the book would get the main idea and the supporting information. Would they be able to tell someone else what your review said?
Writing the Introduction:
In the First Two Paragraphs Include:
Name of the Book
Name of Publisher
Date of publication
Present any information you can from the author’s introduction about why the author wrote the
Include the author’s background education and experience.
Tell what the main topic of the book is.
Writing the Body of the Review
This review should tell the contents of each chapter (again, chapter by chapter) with special emphasis
on the introduction to the book and the last chapter of the book. In the body of the review, present the
facts and the assertions that the author makes. Here, for example, it is proper to write… “The author
brings to light the research done in Australia which shows… etc, etc.”…You may also use the author’s
name, either “Dr. Whoever”, or, “Whoever”, the last name of the author.
Applying Concepts from the Text
Ethnographic Terms, Vocabulary and Concepts
Within each chapter of the text you will find terms (ethnographic and anthropological vocabulary) which relate to the book you are reading. Select and use FIVE of these terms that really make sense in
relation to the topic of your book. For example, if the book is about the trading patterns of a culture,
use terms from economics. If it is about marriage and the family, select terms from the chapter on
marriage and family that relate. Be sure that the terms you select are specific. A term like “culture” is
too general, so you would look for what specific aspect of culture is represented. Connect the term to an example from your reading. For instance, you might discuss how the specific religion of a group
influences their food choices or their clothing choices. Incorporate the terms, UNDERLINE each term and define each term telling about how the book you have read is related to or exemplifies each term.
Writing the Summary and Reflection:
Bring your paper to a conclusion. This involves summarizing what you have already said and restating
what the overall message of the book was. This should be done in a thoughtful, reflective way and
demonstrate your ability to reason carefully. Show you understand and can draw new conclusions about
yourself, other people, and their cultures that you did not have before. I am especially interested to
know what you thought of the book and what you found to be the most interesting idea you
Format: Your paper should be a Microsoft WORD document, double spaced, with 1 inch margins, in 12
point font, a minimum of 4 – 6 pages in length; there is no maximum length.
Mechanics and Spelling: In terms of mechanics and spelling, there should be few, if any, punctuation,
capitalization, grammar, usage or spelling errors. Points will be taken off for these errors, depending on
the number and whether the errors impede the readers understanding what is being said.
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