For history graduate students, book reviews are a manageable first step toward a publishing career, much the way law students are expected to produce a comment in a legal journal. Book reviews are also a legitimate way to recycle your grad school homework assignments. Bearing both of these trends in mind, I decided to submit a book review to the University of Virginia’s venerable journal, Essays in History. The process was quite educational. While less arduous than the peer review process for a full paper, my book review still went through a multi-stage editing process. The exchange with the editors also afforded me a great opportunity to make contacts at another university.
Here is a link to the finished review of Mark W. Summers’s The Ordeal of the Reunion: A New History of Reconstruction. I’m proud of it, but the prose is a little clunky in a few spots, so I have something to work on the next time I write a book review!