ASSIGNMENT & SCORING: Any HUM 212 student can choose to write as many as TWO 3-4 page book reviews to earn extra credit points from the book list below. Each book review score will be averaged with the lowest of your unit exam scores at the end of the semester. The new average will replace your lowest unit exam score. For example, a book review score of 90 could be averaged with a unit exam score of 70 for a result of 80. The score of 80 would replace the 70 in my gradebook and on Blackboard’s Grade Center. You can only do TWO book reviews.

WRITING GUIDELINES: 3-4 pages; font=12; double space; place page numbers in parentheses after any direct quotations from your book.

CONTENT OF PAPER: (1) introductory section which provides the book’s author, title, approximate date of original publication (if known), and a brief preview for your readers about the subject matter of your book; (2) a section which provides a summary of the book’s key points that readers should know; (3) a final section which contains your own overall evaluation of the book: pros and cons, likes and dislikes. Was it easy to comprehend? (Why would USI students benefit from reading this book.)

BOOK LIST: Most, but not all, of these books are available from Rice Library.

GRADING: 50 Pts Writing Mechanics (Grammar, Spelleen, Punctuation, etc.) and 50 Pts Content. Total of 100 points.

Due Date: All extra credit book reviews are due on: TBA

HUM 212 Book Review List

Nicholl, Charles. Leonardo da Vinci: Flights of the Mind. The Renaissance Man.

Wilson, Derek. Out of the Storm. Bio of Martin Luther.

Erasmus. Praise of Folly. Satirical attack against snobs and elitists.

King, Margaret L. Women of the Renaissance. Notable female writers and artists.

Parker, T. H. L. John Calvin: A Biography. Father of Protestantism, American style.

Hill, Frances. A Delusion of Satan: The Full Story of the Salem Witch Trials. Witches!

Donnelly, J. P. Ignatius Loyola: Founder of the Jesuits. Catholic promoter of education.

Starkey, David. Elizabeth: The Struggle for the Throne America’s favorite queen.

Ives, Eric. The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn. The most scandalous royal divorce ever.

Ackroyd, Peter. The Life of Thomas More. Martyr for his church, traitor to his king.

D’Aulaire and D’Aulaire. Columbus. Columbus’s impact, warts and all.

Innes, Hammond. The Conquistadors. How the Spanish conquered Mexico.

Weidhorn, M. The Person of the Millennium. Biography of Galileo.

Sahakian, Mabel. John Locke. Bio of the father of natural rights.

Armitage, Angus. Copernicus, the Founder of Modern Astronomy. Biography.

Weymouth, L. Thomas Jefferson: The Man, His World, His Influence. Biography.

Tomalin, Claire. The Life and Death of Mary Wollstonecraft. The first modern feminist.

Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. A cautionary tale about the dangers of modern science.

Wheen, F. Karl Marx: A Life. Biography of the father of communism.

Ross, I. S. Life of Adam Smith. Biography of the father of free-market capitalism.

Westfall, R. The Life of Isaac Newton. The man who discovered the law of gravity.

Overy, R. The Dictators: Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Russia. Who was worse?

Goldhagen, Jonah. Hitler’s Willing Executioners. Germans who joined Hitler.

Chambers, Whittaker. Witness. Former Communist confesses his past.


. The Killing Zone: My Life in the Vietnam War. A soldier’s story.

Ayers, William. Fugitive Days. 1960s antiwar terrorist who regrets nothing.

Rudd, Mark. Underground. 1960s antiwar terrorist who regrets everything.

Sides, Hampton. Hellhound on His Trail. The manhunt for M. L. King’s assassin.

Weisel, Elie. Night. Gripping memoir of teen who survives Nazi death camps

Larson, Erik. The Devil in the White City. A serial killer at the Chicago World’s Fair.

Hersey, John. Hiroshima. Lives of six survivors of the Hiroshima atomic bomb blast.

Sharansky, Antan. Fear No Evil. Memoir of a Jewish survivor of the Soviet gulag.

Solzhenityn, A. One Day in the life of Ivan Denisovich. One harrowing day in the gulag.

Orwell, George. 1984. Fictional account of a totalitarian police state. Food for thought.

Marx, Karl and Friedrich Engels. The Communist Manifesto. Capitalism is doomed?


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