Book Analysis Assignment


You will need to write one book analysis this semester.  The book analysis should be 4-6 pages long, and should be based entirely on the assigned book(s); there is no need to consult other sources for this assignment.  Rather than write a formal book review for this assignment, you should use the assigned book to answer the question of your choice.


Please write an essay in response to ONE of the following questions:


1.      Why were the politics of early-twentieth-century American cities so corrupt?  What did Lincoln Steffens think that Americans could do to remedy that corruption?

Source: Lincoln Steffens, The Shame of the Cities

Due: January 21.


2.      Describe Eleanor Roosevelt’s political ideology and evaluate her effectiveness as a politician.

Source: Allida M. Black, Casting Her Own Shadow: Eleanor Roosevelt and the Shaping of Postwar Liberalism

Due: February 16.


3.      How effective was the Great Society in alleviating poverty?

Source: Bruce J. Schulman, Lyndon B. Johnson and American Liberalism: A Brief Biography with Documents

Due: March 2.


4.      What were the principles, policy proposals, and assumptions of Barry Goldwater’s brand of conservatism?  What would American society look like if Goldwater’s proposals had been adopted?

Source: Barry Goldwater, The Conscience of a Conservative

Due: March 25.


5.      Why did Peggy Noonan admire Ronald Reagan in spite of her disappointments with Washington politics during the Reagan administration?  Do you think that this admiration was deserved?

Source: Peggy Noonan, What I Saw at the Revolution: A Political Life in the Reagan Era

Due: April 13.   


6.      What is Barack Obama’s political ideology?

Source: Barack Obama, The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream

Due: April 27.