Reviewing at S-USIH

Important Information

To submit an application to review books for the Society for U.S. Intellectual History, please use this FORM.

To see the list of books available for reviewing please see this DOC.

Book Review Policy

In its commitment to promote research, teaching and intellectual exchange on the historical study of American thought, the Society for U.S. Intellectual History offers a book review section that identifies new and significant historical monographs in the field of U.S. intellectual history.  Book reviews facilitate informed dialogue on the current state of the field and raise interest in the political, cultural and intellectual project of writing history.  Historical scholarship is the foundation of our profession and teaching its heartbeat; book reviews introduce our diverse readership to the creative and original questions and methodologies of scholars dedicated to the dissemination of historical knowledge and understanding. Thus, book reviews play an integral part in the collective intellectual project that is the writing and teaching of U.S. intellectual history.

Guidelines for Reviewing

Listed below are a set of broad questions that one should consider when writing book reviews for the Society of U.S. Intellectual History. The editors expect reviewers to discuss a book’s main arguments and features, as one would with any review. However, the following questions reflect the unique interests of intellectual historians, in addition to considerations typically associated with American thought and culture.

  1. Is this book intellectual history broadly defined? If not, why should the book interest intellectual historians?
  2. What are the book’s implications for intellectual history?
  3. How does the book fit within a larger historiographic context? How does it change the story?
  4. Sources, sources, sources…tell us about the sources used by the author. Are there additional sources the writer could have used? How are the sources useful for other intellectual historians?
  5. Finally, what kind of contribution does the book make to its own field? What is its contribution to the intellectual history of the United States or what questions does it raise for further scholarship?

Adhering to the guidelines above is not meant to constrain how a reviewer writes a review. Editors hope to post reviews that invite audience response–which of course is a feature particular to on line reviews. Keep in mind that reviews serve as a an excellent resource for those interested in intellectual history and to spark discussion about the book and larger questions concerning intellectual history.

Each book review should be no longer than 1200 words. Brevity, especially in regards to online writing, is fundamental. Reviewers are expected to do their own editing. Make sure the piece is polished, free of grammatical and spelling errors, and considers the questions above. We reserve the right to edit for clarity or to request a revision and re-submissionWe expect that reviews will be submitted within 6-8 weeks of receiving the book and appreciate your effort to adhere to the schedule.