Book Reviews

ANSWER: Political Science Text Recommendations


I think we all choked a bit on this one because it is by its nature a very challenging project. There are various sources that rank schools, and by using citation indexes it is possible to rank specific professors to some extent. But respected research surely does not guarantee great teaching, or the ability to pick out good textbooks. Looking for textbook reviews in commercial academic library databases seems to yield limited success.

Academic Search Premier gets 10 hits for: textbooks and tx chicano (looking for textbooks in title, subjects and abstracts; and chicano mentioned anywhere in the article full text). The broader search: reviews and textbooks and political science gets 23 hits; reviews and textbooks and tx political science gets 34 hits.

In Hispanic American Periodicals Index, the search for SUBJECT: textbooks gets 136 hits, mainly reviews of textbooks. 73 are ones reviewed since 1990; only 8 since 2000.

Historical Abstracts gets 45 hits for: textbook review*. America: History & Life gets 22 for that search, 3 for: textbook and chicano and the same 3 even for: tx textbook and tx chicano.

Librarians Index to Internet gets 3 hits for textbook reviews, but even this little bit looks much more geared to public school texts.

In Google, "textbook reviews" chicano gets a pretty mixed bag, and only 46 unique hits. Commercial sites such as DO have "customer reviews", but not for very many books, and there seems to be no easy way to search JUST for books that have reviews. Also, the reviews that are there are by no means vetted by "experts" in their fields.

Powells Books gets only 1 hit for chicano and text*, and no reviews. It gets 48 hits for: political science and text*, but again, few reviews; economics and textbooks gets 138 hits.

Related Question

Blackwater and Jihad

The August/September 2007 issue of the Catholic Worker had reviews of two books that might be of interest to readers of this site:

Book Review: Blackwater: The rise of the world's most powerful mercenary army. By Jeremy Scahill, Nationa Books, NY 2007 Reviewed by Tom Cornell. - Mostly favorable review of book critical of the use of private security firms in war zones and the lack of accountability that creates. James Scahill spoke about his book to Truthdig and to Democracy Now.

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