Skip to Main Content

* History

Sources for the study of history at the University of Rochester

What is a Book Review?

Book reviews are important resources for establishing context around historical research. These reviews may offer a summary of a book, but will also usually provide a critical discussion of the book’s main thesis, while comparing the book’s content and conclusions to related works in the field.

Finding book reviews can help you:

  • Identify books to incorporate into your research
  • Understand how a book fits into the larger scholarly conversation on a topic
  • Evaluate the merits and shortcomings of a particular work
  • Develop your skills at assessing research material in the field
  • Establish the "intellectual climate" at a given point in time

For more information on the value of book reviews as sources, see Jenny L. Presnell, The Information-Literate Historian: A Guide to Research for History Students, 3rd ed. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2019), 45-47.

Selected Journals and Websites with Scholarly Book Reviews

Looking to stay current on what's being published in the field? Need an example of a scholarly book review? The following selection of journals regularly publish book reviews in each issue:

Databases with Scholarly Book Reviews

Printed Indexes of Book Reviews