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Book Review
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A Madcap Story of Sex, Style, Celebrity And The Women Who Made America Modern (Book Review Sample)


Your assignment is to write a 1100 word book review on the Joshua Zeitz book Flapper: A Madcap Story of Sex, Style, Celebrity And The Women Who Made America Modern. In essence, this is a compare-and-contrast essay – it is not a book report. In order to complete this assignment successfully, you will have to read additional books and other materials to evaluate the book based and assess the book’s strengths and weaknesses.Your paper should be typed in a regular-style font (Times New Roman or Calibri) and the type should be no larger than 12-point. Margins should be no larger than one inch and indentations for paragraphs should not exceed one tab. Please single-space your papers.
Each paper should be properly cited and each paper is expected to include a properly-formatted works cited page. Both the paper and the works cited page should be included in the same document and that document should be uploaded to no later than the start of class on the due date. Late papers will not be accepted! Each paper should have at least 7 sources. All sources should be books, periodicals or online articles from scholarly journals or scholar-run websites. Sources from websites not affiliated with academic research will not count as a source and neither do encyclopedias, dictionaries or your textbook. All papers will be checked for plagiarism. Papers that have excessive amounts of unoriginal work (more than 50 percent according to will be awarded a zero, even if the outside information is cited. The purpose of this assignment is for you to review the book, not someone else. Turning in a paper that consists of lengthy quotes from other sources does not meet the criteria and will result in a grade of zero!
Sample Book Review Outline
I. Introduction
A. About the author
1. Define his/her expertise, Etc.
B. Main points made in the book
1. Point 1
2. Point 2
3. Point 3
4. Point 4
II. What other sources say
A. Source 1
1. Information on author of source 1
2. Main points of source 1
a. Compare with book
b. Contrast with book.
B. Source 2
1. Information on author of source 2 
2. Main points of source 2
a. Compare with book
b. Contrast with book
C. Source 3
1.Information on author of source 3
2. Main points of source 3
a. Compare with book
b. Contrast with book
D. Source 4
1. Information on author of source 4
2. Main points of source 4
a. Compare with book
b. Contrast with book
E. Source 5
1.Information on author of source 5
2. Main points of source 5
a. Compare with book
b. Contrast with book
F. Source 6
1. Information on author of source 6
2. Main points of source 6
a. Compare with book
b. Contrast with book
G. Source 7
1. Information on author of source 7
2. Main points of source 7
a. Compare with book
b. Contrast with book
III. Conclusion
A. Evaluation
1. Compare, contrast
Example Review
John Doe
HIS 121-101
Spring 2016
Nail Ferguson, The Ascent of Money
In this work, Niall Ferguson discusses the evolution of the use of money in human societies as well as the evolution of financial institutions, from banks to stock markets to bond markets to life insurance.
Ferguson, whose recent work, War of the World, sparked controversy among scholars of nationalism and the rise of the world wars (Berendon, Review, pp. 1-3), writes the book amid the current collapse of the world financial markets. His thesis is that collapses are often the result of unscrupulous business practices combined with government and business working hand-in-hand to game various financial systems, such as the housing market which collapsed following a spate of mortgage foreclosures. (Ferguson, Ascent, p. 8-15) Needless to say, Ferguson’s assertions in the book have drawn fire from many quarters during the recent scandal yet his overall chronicle on the rise of money and financial institutions is clear unparalleled in the field of financial history, which is one of the less interesting fields of research in the entire discipline.
The author begins the book not by talking about money but by talking about mathematics, specifically the discovery of the concept of zero by Indian mathematicians in the fourth century. (Ferguson, Ascent, p. 24-28) Ferguson said that, coupled by developments in algebra and in the computation of fractions led to the development of calculations of interest rates, which revolutionized financial activity around the world. (Ferguson, Ascent, p. 110-124)
After these ideas made their way to Europe in the Renaissance, economies exploded from Italy to England as businesses began to develop new calculations for making money. Ferguson discusses how bonds arose as a result of this as did banks and other financial institutions, giving rise eventually to the development of the joint-stock company and the stock market. (Ferguson, Ascent, p. 200-375)
Most of what Ferguson writes about the development of money is not that controversial but when he begins his analysis of the Great Depression and the growth and development of the welfare state, he gets dinged, mostly by partisan writers of the right and left who are more interested in pushing an agenda rather than the truth or the history of money. (Bagration, “Depression,” p. 383-384; Donnelly, “Free Markets vs. Freefall” p. 987-989) Ferguson’s breakdown of the various financial strategies employed by governments not only to escape the Depression but also to deal with more pressing problems such as insurance and healthcare, is not skewed – instead, he backs up his assertions with data collected from demographers and economists from all parts of the political spectrum.
In conclusion, Niall Ferguson’s book, The Ascent of Money, is a historical look at how humans and money have co-existed from almost the start of recorded history. It is an examination of how money and finance work and the promise and perils inherent in the workings of these tools and institutions. Like all human institutions, money and financial institutions have their problems and many times those problems impact the lives of people. Despite the powerful grip money and finance has over our lives, we oftentimes do not understand what is happening until it’s too late, if at all. Ferguson’s book works to dispel how we think of money and it does a good job of showing how these forces operate to shape, maintain and stabilize the modern world. He also tells us of the flaws inherent in these systems and leaves it up to us to figure out how we, as individuals, can benefit or be hurt by changes in these institutions. It was a fascinating read and after finishing it, one can feel much better about having more knowledge of the world’s finance system.
Berendon, Piers. “Review of War Of The World.” www(dot)historyalive(dot)org Published January, 5, 2004 <Retrieved Oct. 2, 2008>
Ferguson, Niall. The Ascent of Money (2008) Penguin Books: New York. 
Ferguson, Niall. The War of the World (2003) Penguin Books: New York.
Bagration, Kate. “Depression: Government Foibles And The Great Slump.” The Economist. Vol. IX, No. 7, April, 2009.
Donnelly, K.J. “Free Markets Vs. Free Fall.” The Social Journal. Vol. MC, No. 9, May, 2008.

Flapper: A Madcap Story of Sex, Style, Celebrity And The Women Who Made America Modern. By Joshua Zeitz
Joshua Zeitz is an American historian and a member of the Democratic Party, who has written books on the American political history. The Flapper book focuses on the flapper lifestyle in the roaring 1920's, when views about women changed to the extent that there was acceptance for women who wore short skirts, smoked and drank gin while also visiting jazz clubs. Zeitz goes on to identify F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda as the subjects of a typical American flapper. The author describes a flapper as one who does not conform, and this created interest for people in the arts and entertainment on how to represent them. The redefined feminine sexuality as well as androgynous fashions also characterized the era, with flappers notorious for going against the convention, but also mainstreaming activities that were previously frowned upon. Zeitz highlights on the way economic conditions, the changing role of women and emphasis on self expression influenced the social behavior of urban women during the Jazz Age.
Sagert (23) also delves into the flapper culture in the 1920's, but takes a broader focus on the changes in the society that precipitated the flapper phenomenon. The main similarities are that the book focuses on the characterization of flappers, and people who were perplexed by the women. Sagert (1), notes that as more women moved into the city they were less bound by the prevailing social norms as they worked more away from home. Zeitz uses Scot Fitzgerald's wife to symbolize the changes that took place during the era. To Sagert (55) and Zeitz the role of movie stars, screen writers and novelists opened a new opportunity for which to examine the emerging flapper phenomenon.
The notion that the 1920's flapper as a fashionable party girl is simply a one dimensional narrative that ignores her evolution to begin with the flapper was radical, and the media treatment of these women was harsh as women who were intoxicated with freedom. This narrative sheds light on the need to focus on different perspectives to understand the life of Zelda Fitzgerald. According to Mangum (249), Zelda Fitzgerald mentioned in the early 1920's that the original Flapper had changed form one aspiring for independence and liberation to one simply who followed fashion with no aspiration to be trendsetters. Equally, Zeitz captures the option of self- expression as the one of the recurring themes who challenge conventions, rather than simply follow what other people did.
F. Scott Fitzgerald in his writings glamorized the lives of young people after the WWI, with many uninterested in war and politics, but rather seeking pleasure. The changing notions about social life and indulgence in alcohol frequent partying, sexual provocative pieces were all themes tackled by the writer (Cahn 16). Youthful rebellion, modernism and sexual revolution characterized the new consciousness that divided the generations (Cahn 16). The fun loving Zelda Fitzgerald embodies the changes in the society having kissed a man before marriage which was unusual at the time. Additionally, the women living in urban centers were more likely to engage in extra marital affairs more than the previous generati...
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