Book review essays should be 3-4 pages (ca. 900-1200 words), and should exhibit standard formatting: double spaced text, Times New Roman or equivalent, one-inch margins, page numbers on each page, etc.
Basic questions you should bear in mind you prepare your review essay include:
1. What is the subject matter of the readings?
2. What question or set of questions is the author trying to answer?
3. What is the author’s thesis; that is, what arguments is he/she trying to defend?
4. What kinds of evidence does the author use?
5. How does the author use this evidence to support his argument?
6. How did the monograph build on, support, argue against, etc. any of the other
readings we’ve done this semester?
7. How did the monograph enhance your understanding of Middle East/Islamic
history and historiography?
Since a good book review essay can take a variety of approaches, the approach you
choose will be judged on the clarity, content, and effectiveness of your analysis. Be sure
to provide specific examples of the author’s thesis, argument, method, and use of
evidence (questions 3-6) in your analysis.
Whatever approach you take, be sure to assert the author’s thesis clearly and directly in
your first paragraph. You can then use the rest of your essay to demonstrate why your
analysis of the author’s thesis, argument, method, and use of evidence is valid.
You will need to bring a hard copy of your essays to class as well as upload a copy at
SafeAssign on RamCT by the beginning of class on the day it is due. Late book review
essays will not be accepted—no exceptions.
Students are asked to sign the CSU honor pledge on the book review essay: “I pledge on
my honor that I have not received or given any unauthorized assistance in this
assignment.” Plagiarism on your book review essays will result in will result in a grading
penalty ranging from a failing grade on the assignment to a failing grade in the course;
the Office of Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct Services will be notified.
Pre-Approved Monographs for Book Review Essay
Monographs not on this list must be pre-approved by the instructor.
Ahmed, Leila. Women and Gender in Islam: Historical Roots of a Modern Debate. New Haven:
Yale University Press, 1992.
Amitai-Preiss, Reuven. Mongols and Mamluks: The Mamluk-Ilkhanid War, 1260-1281. New
York: Cambridge University Press, 1995.
Antrim, Zayde. Routes and Realms: The Power of Place in the Early Islamic World. New York:
Oxford University Press, 2012.
Berkey, Jonathan. The Transmission of Knowledge in Medieval Cairo: A Social History of
Islamic Education. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992.
Bloom, Jonathan M. Paper Before Print: The History and Impact of Paper in the Islamic World.
New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001.
Bosworth, C. E. The Ghaznavids: Their Empire in Afghanistan and Eastern Iran, 944-1040.
Beirut: Librairie du Liban, 1973.
Bouachrine, Ibtissam. Women and Islam: Myths, Apologies, and the Limits of Feminist Critique.
Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2014.
Bulliet, Richard W. Conversion to Islam in the Medieval Period. Cambridge: Harvard University
Bulliet, Richard W. The Camel and the Wheel. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1975.
Chittick, William C. Sufism: A Short Introduction. Oxford: Oneworld Publications, 2000.
Christie, Niall. Muslims and Crusaders: Christianity’s Wars in the Middle East, 1095-1382, from
the Islamic Sources. Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 2014.
Cohen, Mark R. Poverty and Charity in the Jewish Community of Medieval Egypt, Princeton:
Princeton University Press, 2005.
Collins, Roger. The Arab Conquest of Spain. Cambridge: Basil Blackwell Ltd, 1989.
Constable, Olivia Remie. Housing the Stranger in the Mediterranean World: Lodging, Trade,
and Travel in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages. New York: Cambridge University
Cook, David. Martyrdom in Islam. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007.
Cook, David. Understanding Jihad. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press,
Cook, Michael. Forbidding Wrong in Islam: An Introduction. New York: Cambridge University
Cook, Michael. The Koran: A Very Short Introduction. New York: Oxford University Press,
Crone, Patricia and Martin Hinds, God’s Caliph: Religious Authority in the First Centuries of
Islam. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1986.
Crone, Patricia. Meccan Trade and the Rise of Islam. Princeton: Princeton University Press,
Daftary, Farhad. The Assassin Legends: Myths of the Isma‘ilis. London: I. B. Tauris, 1994.
Donner, Fred M. Narratives of Islamic Origins: The Beginnings of Islamic Historical Writing.
Princeton: Darwin Press, 1998.
Donner, Fred M. The Early Islamic Conquests. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1981.
El-Cheikh, Nadia Maria. Byzantium Viewed by the Arabs. Cambridge: Harvard University Press,
El-Hibri, Tayeb. Reinterpreting Islamic Historiography: Harun al-Rashid and the Narrative of
the Abbasid Caliphate. New York: Columbia University Press, 1999.7
Esposito, John L. with Natana J. DeLong-Bas. Women in Muslim Family Law, second edition.
Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2001.
Firestone, Reuven. Journeys in Holy Lands: The Evolution of the Abraham-Ishmael Legends in
Islamic Exegesis. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1985.
Friedman, Yohanan, Tolerance and Coercion in Islam: Interfaith Relations in the Muslim
Tradition. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003.
Gaiser, Adam R. Muslims, Scholars, Soldiers: The Origin and Elaboration of the Ibadi Imamate
Traditions. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010.
Gelder, Gert Jan van. God’s Banquet: Food in Classical Arabic Literature. New York: Columbia
University Press, 2000.
Giladi, Avner. Children of Islam: Concepts of Childhood in Medieval Muslim Society. New
York: St. Martin’s Press, 1992.
Gill, Moshe. A History of Palestine, 634-1099. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1997.
Glick, Thomas F. Islamic and Christian Spain in the Early Middle Ages. Princeton, NJ:
Princeton University Press, 1979.
Goitein, S.D. Letters of Medieval Jewish Traders. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1973.
Goldman, Shalom. The Wiles of Women/The Wiles of Men: Joseph and Potiphar’s Wife in
Ancient Near Eastern, Jewish, and Islamic Folklore
Gordon, Matthew. The Breaking of a Thousand Swords: A History of the Turkish Military of
Samarra, A.H. 200-275/815-889 C.E. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2001.
Griffith, Sidney. The Bible in Arabic: The Scriptures of the “People of the Book” in the
Language of Islam. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2013.
Griffith, Sidney. The Church in the Shadow of the Mosque: Christians and Muslims in the World
of Islam. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008.
Gutas, Dimitri. Greek Thought, Arabic Culture: The Graeco-Arabic Translation Movement in
Baghdad and Early ‘Abbasid Society (2nd-4th/8th-10th centuries). New York:
Halevi, Leor. Muhammad’s Grave: Death Rites and the Making of Islamic Society. New York:
Columbia University Press, 2007.
Hallaq, Wael. Authority, Continuity, and Change in Islamic Law. New York: Cambridge
University Press, 2001.
Hanne, Eric J. Putting the Caliph in His Place: Power and Authority in Medieval Islam.
Hackensack: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2007.
Hattox, Ralph S. Coffee and Coffeehouses: The Origins of a Social Beverage in the Medieval
Near East. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1985.
Hurvitz, Nimrod. The Formation of Hanbalism: Piety into Power. New York: Routledge, 2002.
Irwin, Robert. Islamic Art in Context. New York: Prentice Hall, 1997.
Jackson, Peter. The Delhi Sultanate: A Political and Military History. New York: Cambridge
University Press, 1999.
Jafri, S. H. M. Origins and Early Development of Shi‘a Islam. New York: Longman, 1979.
Karamustafa, Ahmet T. Sufism: The Formative Period. Berkeley: University of California Press,
Keaney, Heather N. Medieval Islamic Historiography: Remembering Rebellion. New York:
Kennedy, Hugh. The Great Arab Conquests: How the Spread of Islam Changed the World We
Live In. Philadelphia: DaCapo, 2008.
Khalek, Nancy. Damascus after the Muslim Conquest: Text and Image in Early Islam. New
York: Oxford University Press, 2011.
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