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6 pages/≈1650 words
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MLA
Topic:
History
Type:
Book Review
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English (U.S.)
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Harriet, the Moses of Her People & the Life and the Life Stories (Book Review Sample)

Instructions:

CRITICAL COMPARATIVE BOOK REVIEW
Assignment:
These are the TWO BOOKS, you are going to use.
1. HARRIET TUBMAN (A Biography) written by James A. McGowan and William C. Kashatus. Published by Greenwood Biographies
2. HARRIET TUBMAN (The Life and the Life Stories) written by Jean M. Humez. Published by The University of Wisconsin Press
An American political figure (but must be DECEASED!) and read two biographies of that person by different authors (at least 150 pages each). After reading each biography, write a critical review of the two books of 5-7 typed, double-spaced pages,font: Times New Roman, font size: 12. In addition to evaluating each book for its own merits, you will also compare and contrast the two books.
These are to be CRITICAL book reviews, meaning that you will need to analyze each book carefully, and then weigh them against each other. Among the questions you should consider are:
(a)Why did the author of each book choose to write a biography of this person?
(b)What was the purpose of each book? Does the author state a purpose?
(c)What are the main arguments of each book?
(d)What is the thesis?
(e)Would you characterize each biography as sympathetic to the subject or critical?
(f)Are you convinced by the arguments/thesis of each author?
(g)What are the strengths and weaknesses of each book?
(h)Can you discern a bias in the authors’ work?
(i)Which author does a better job explaining the life of the subject? Why?
(j)How do the authors arguments compare?
(k)Which author presents a more compelling or believable thesis?
(l)Does it seem that the authors are purposing seeking to undermine the argument of the other?
(m)If one of the biographies is written many years before the other, can you identify how historical events have shaped/changed the interpretation of the subject’s life as reflected in the other biography?
These are just some of the questions to consider in your papers. The bottom line is that you are expected to engage the materials and ask why each author presents the life of the subject the way they do. All authors have an agenda. It is your job to discern it.
The papers must contain citations in MLA, including footnotes or endnotes, and a complete bibliography. NO UNNECESSARY SPACES OR DOUBLE-SPACES IN YOUR WORK.
Be warned: Plagiarism is a violation of college policy on academic dishonesty and will be subject to one or all of the following: failure of the assignment, failure of the class, suspension from the college, or expulsion from the college.
Plagiarism
Plagiarism is using the words or ideas of others without giving credit where credit is due. If you use the exact words of another person (no matter what the length), you must put those words in quotation marks and include a citation to indicate their source. If you use someone else's ideas or paraphrase someone's words, you must also cite that. You must also indicate the source of specific facts you use in a paper.
The Modern Language Association's MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers defines plagiarism as follows:
· repeating another's sentences as your own,
· adopting a particularly apt phrase as your own,
· paraphrasing someone else's argument as your own,
· presenting someone else's line of thinking in the development of a thesis as though it were your own.
In short, to plagiarize is to give the impression that you have written or thought something that you have in fact borrowed from another. Writers may use another person's words and thoughts but must acknowledge them.
The penalties for plagiarism may be severe, ranging from failure on the particular piece of work, to failure in the course, to expulsion from the college in extreme cases.
Be warned: Plagiarism is a violation of college policy on academic dishonesty and will be subject to one or all of the following: failure of the assignment with an assigned grade of “F”, failure of the assignment with an assigned grade of ZERO, or even outright failure of the class – At my discretion. All cases of plagiarism must also be reported to the Dean of Students and Academic Dean, and will therefore be subject to further action.

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Harriet, the Moses of Her People & the Life and the Life Stories
Introduction
Tubman is considered as a significant individual in the history of slavery that is depicted in the two books. Harriet played a significant role in liberating slaves, an aspect that made a difference in the lives of several slaves. Considered as one of the conductors of the Underground Railroad, she is described in the books as a brave woman who made 19 trips in a bid to free slaves from the hands of their owners and oppressors. Harriet worked in a union as a nurse, a spy, and a cook an aspect that made her a very caring individual in helping the United States lands in several ways.
The two books clearly detail the success stories of Harriet by depicting the manner in which she made efforts to free many of the slaves from her race even amidst the fears that entrenched her safety. As described in the book, the perception of being captured by slave-holders and slave-hunters never threatened her mission since she was proof to her adversaries. This paper seeks to conduct a comparative book review on the publications of William C. Kashatus, “Harriet Tubman (A Bibliography) and Jean M. Humez, “Harriet Tubman (The Life and Life Stories).
Harriet, the Moses of Her People & the Life and the Life Stories
The authors of these books display Harriet as one of the most recognized symbols during the anti-slavery era. The actualities of her life are evident in the author’s books that reveal her status as a public icon. The authors of these books, therefore, depict her prominence that remains undisputable. However, information about “the Moses of her people” remains evident in both the literature, an aspect that serves as the primary purpose of each of this literature. The authors consequently dwell on the fugitive slaves in the enjoyment of their renaissance under the initiative of the Underground Railroad that helped in catalyzing this immoral act (Harriet Tubman 6). It can be assumed that the Underground Railroad romanticized the African Americans and women as playing significant roles of abolitionists, an aspect that makes it clear that the slavery epic was an issue that is prominent in both the literature as a symbol that galvanized slave power tyranny. The authors of these books clearly state the purposes and intent of their writing in the introduction of their book.
Sarah H. Bradford in her book, “The Moses of Her People” clearly argues by providing insights on the role Harriet played as an icon of the Underground Railroad, an aspect that depicts the thesis of the book. After escaping from slavery, Harriet was helped by members of the Underground Railroad. The author clearly establishes that her freedom seemed empty unless she shared this freedom with other people she loved, thus leading her to return in rescuing her family and friends from the hands of the slave traders. However, the interest of this author in the production of a streamlined prose results in a poetic interest in Harriet. To provide a continuous narrative, Bradford incorporates the use of a hypothetical scenario for her ideas on Tubman’s childhood, an aspect that fails to reflect on the past necessarily. For instance, Bradford starts by asking his audience to imagine, “a hot summer day, presumably a hundred years ago,” when happy little darkies were tumbling and rolling on the sand in front of a large house in Southern Planter (Harriet Tubman 7). Tubman, on the other hand, is described as darker than all the others with obscurity in the hair, sitting apart from the rest of the children and holding to the gate post. This description apparentl...
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