Book Review Guidelines

Book reviews are normally solicited by the journal’s book review editor. If you are interested in reviewing a book for Forensic Anthropology, please contact the book review editor, Gregory Berg, at gregory.e.berg2.civ@mail.mil. Please cover the following areas, and use these bullets as a general outline when drafting your review.

  • Introduction: This should contain a brief summary of overall book objectives. Why does this book exist now? What is its thesis statement (essentially)? Does this book build upon something from before?
  • List the book’s author(s) or editor(s) are and why they are qualified to do this work (expertise, academic background, accomplishments of these individuals, etc.).
  • General outline of the book/contributions/chapters: how many chapters, total pages, presence/absence of certain items like a glossary or index if appropriate, and how these apply to the question at hand. These can be grouped by chapters if organized that way—e.g. "Chapters 1–3 discuss the morphology of the lemur femur and its application to eating behavior, while Chapters 4–8 approach this topic from the perspective of the lemur intestinal flora."
  •  Summary of how well chapters met the book objectives over all, e.g., a quick understanding of the various chapters versus the book’s goals. This can and should highlight the research methods used throughout the book, the test cases, the range of material covered, etc. Depending on how it is constructed, this may be a very short section, or it could be significant.
  • General strengths of the book: at least one, but likely more than one strength should be highlighted for the reader to consider. These can also be interspersed with the above section.
  • General weaknesses of the book: as above, at least one or more weaknesses should be considered. This might contain areas that the book could have improved via additional chapters or discussion, more detail in a certain section, or topics not considered. Please note, this should not be an opportunity to bash the work based solely on personal opinion, but if it is genuinely lacking, this should be made clear. Also, these can be interspersed with the summary section above.
  • Conclusions: how the book fits into the body of literature currently available, and as much as possible, why you would recommend the book or not, and what the recommended target audience/use may or could be (e.g. undergraduates, advanced undergraduate survey course, graduate seminar course, general practitioner knowledge, everyday anthropologist, etc.).

Book reviews should be approximately 1–1.5 type set pages, equating to approximately 2–4 double spaced, 12 pt. Times New Roman font, typed pages. These can go longer, if necessary, but the rule of thumb is that they should be kept fairly brief. You will be asked to provide an abstract. For book review purposes, simply fill that section out with the book title, book author(s) or editor(s), ISBN, and publisher.