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Social Sciences
Book Review
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Daily Life in the U.S. (Book Review Sample)


This is NOT traditional research papers, so you only need to read the monograph and answer my questions below in an essay format. My goal is to have you analyze and give me your personal views on the monograph. You need to write a typed, three page or longer, double-spaced paper on the assigned monograph, based on the instructions below. You must use the MLA style explained in the Course Introduction folder.
The most important step is organizing your thoughts before you actually start writing the paper. All grammar and spelling must be correct; please review the paper carefully before turning it. The paper must conform to the MLA guidelines. You need to discuss all the questions below in your paper but please do so in a cohesive manner, so the paper is not merely a listing of responses to the questions. Your paper does not necessarily have to discuss these questions in the same order as shown below, but most students do so. I suggest you consider writing a separate paragraph for each question and the, after finishing, considering combining some short paragraphs if it makes sense. You are encouraged to provide any additional insights on the monograph that you think are relevant, but no additional research is required.
• One to two paragraph brief summary of the book. Don't summarize every chapter!
• Who is the author and what is his or her background?
• Does the author have any particular ideological viewpoint that he or she is trying to advance, or do you consider the author to have been neutral and presented both sides of controversial issues? (You will find asking this same question will help you in other courses and your future career.)
• What do you think of the author’s title? Would you have used a different title?
• Do you believe the author accurately described the social history of the decades of the 1920s and the 1930s? What, if anything, might be excluded or added?
• When was this book written? Does the author reflect the views (biases) of the time when the book was written? Why or why not?
• What did you find most interesting in the book? Least interesting?
• What did you find most significant about automobiles (chapter 2)?
• We all take electricity for granted now but it was a truly revolutionary development for most people in the 1920s and 1930s. What aspect of that did you find most significant in chapter 3?
• The widespread use of radio had a dramatic impact on people’s lives (chapter 4). What aspect do you think was most important?
• What would you consider the most important impact of the introduction of the cinema (chapter 5)?
• Chapter 11 discusses the expanded role of the government in the 1930s. What aspects of that do you think were most beneficial? What aspects were least beneficial?
• Do you think the author makes the material interesting, understandable, and relevant to the general public? Why or why not?
• If you were the editor in the publishing company, what changes, if any, would you make to the author’s draft?
• Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?
• Did the book increase your interest in a particular issue that you would like to learn more about?
• Do you think it is worthwhile to study social history?
• Would you recommend that I continue to use this book in this course with future students? Would you have preferred to read a book on another subject covered by this course (military history, economics, etc.)?


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Book Review: Daily life in the USA, 1920-1940
The book named above explores events that shaped American history in the early 20th century. The author, David Kyvig, acknowledges that during the 1920s and '30s, America experienced revolutionary changes that significantly influenced Americans' lives. The modifications mentioned in this book include cultural upheavals, technological innovation, growth of urbanization, and the great economic depression. Kyvig uses this book to narrate how Americans led their daily lives in the early years of the 20th century, a time when home electricity, movies, radio, and automobiles became popular.
David Kyvig is currently a professor at the University of Northern Illinois. He has authored several books concerning American history, including Explicit and Authentic Acts that won the Bancroft Prize. In addition,Kyvig is a resident of Illinois living in DeKalb. The author presents a double-sided description of controversial issues such as how industrialization led to increased immigration into America and economic and racial discrimination during those years. The book demonstrates how the white working-class lived differently from others, which caused increased social tensions between the haves and the tohave not's.
Kyvig's book title, "Daily Life in the USA, 1920-1940: How Americans Lived Through the Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression," is appropriate because it gives readers a clear image of America between 1920 and 1940.By just reading the title, readers become aware that the book contains historical events that shaped America in the early years of the 20th century. Therefore, the title is satisfactory and requires no alterations.

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