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Book Review
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Review of Embracing Defeat History Book Review Essay (Book Review Sample)


Please follow the instructions and requirements carefully. Thank you.


Grading Rubric for Review Papers 




Length: 1,500 words +/- 250 words (approximately 6 pages double spaced)


Citations: Chicago style footnotes and bibliography. The footnotes, but not the bibliography counts toward the length. 


Completion: 10 Points


Fulfils basic guidelines for length and deadline: 5 points

Papers will be penalized 1 point for every day late, rounding up

            Example: Turned in December 18 at noon. <1 day late → rounds to 1 day

                       -1 points.

Papers will be penalized 1 point for each 10% off on length beyond the first 10%, rounding up.

Example 1: 3,000 words = 60% of 5,000 words (40% too short) → -3 points

Examples 2: 6,000 words = 120% of 5,000 pages (20% too long) → -1 point


Sources, footnotes and bibliography: 5 points

            Correct format: 2 points - 1 points for footnotes, 1 point for bibliography

            Completeness: 3 points

2 points for completeness of sources (are they enough to answer your question), 1 points for completeness of citations


Quality: 15 points


Each of the following 3 areas will be assessed out of 5 points, as follows:

Excellent: Your paper goes beyond the basic requirements. 5 points

Good: Your paper completely fulfils the basic requirements. 4 points

Adequate: Your paper falls short of the requirements in minor ways. 3 points

Fair: Your paper falls short of the requirements in significant ways. 2 points.

Poor. Your paper falls far short of the requirements. 1 point.


Argument: 5 points.

Your paper should answer an interpretation question, generally about how or why. This should be supported by adequate factual details (who, what, when, where) that are properly linked to your argument.




Structure: 5 points.

Your paper should be well-structured, with a clear introduction that frames the rest of the paper, clear thesis statement, and with each supporting point clearly structured into its own paragraph or paragraphs.


Excellent: Your paper is clearly structured around all the elements described above. The reader is able to easily grasp your overall argument from the introduction and each sub-argument from its individual paragraph(s).

Good: Your paper is structured around all the elements described above. The reader can easily grasp your argument from reading the whole paper, but some subsections could benefit from clearer structure.

Adequate: Your paper is structured around all of the elements above, but sometimes lacks clarity. The reader can grasp your argument from reading the whole paper, but may be confused by some sub-sections. This may be due to a distracting introduction or conclusion, or because some sub-points are scattered rather than placed in their own paragraphs.

Fair: Your paper lacks one or more of the elements above or has poor coherence. The reader may have to reread sections or “read between the lines” to piece together your argument.

Poor: Your paper has no apparent structure. The reader is unable to piece together a coherent argument even upon multiple rereads.


Historical Content: 5 points

While many of your papers to apply to contemporary questions, they must contain adequate historical content. This content should be used in support of your main argument.


Excellent: Makes exemplary use of historical content.

Good: Makes clear use of historical content.

Adequate: Makes use of historical content, but the history is only tenuously connected to your argument.

Fair: Makes minimal use of historical content, and the history seems like an afterthought or distraction.

Poor: Makes little to no use of historical content.


Total: 25 Points


Review of Embracing Defeat
The book written by John Dower gives a significant insight into the history and relationship of countries such as the United States and Japan after the first and second world wars and the post-war period. The periods during and after the war led many countries across the globe into economic crisis due to the high investments made to finance the activities and also the resources destroyed in the events. Dower states that the post-war period between 1920 and 1930 leads to depression and instability. Most leaders including the Japanese ruler did not know how to restore their economies. The Japanese economy suffered retrenchment, with slow economic growth, high rates of inflation and a series of crisis due to the unsettled financial system. The citizens and subjects to the empire suffered the consequences of the instability directly from incidences like high prices for basic needs and lack of employment opportunities. However, the Japanese conquered Asia and abducted more of the country's economic resources. This event helped in the revival of the financial system in the country and enhanced economic growth. The incident marked a great time for the Japanese in history through the conquering of their great army. Hence, the Japanese revived to an excellent economic position, even after the impact of the First World War.[John W. Dower, Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II (1999)]

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