Book Reviews: My Philosophy
For me, academic book reviews have as their aim the dissemination of the reviewer’s reading of a volume whose chief goal is to encourage others to read the book or to discourage people from wasting their time with it.
Point by point technical refutations or discussions of books are desired only by persons who are 1- too lazy to read for themselves and 2- too willing to read a semi-book length review whilst ignoring the book itself and nevertheless passing off their second hand knowledge of the book as though it were first hand encounter.
If a book review is to be useful it should include the main gist of the book along with an overview of the contents and then a bit of personal analysis. It should, as I said, either whet the potential reader’s appettite or it should warn them away. More than that is merely providing the lazy with an excuse not to do their own thinking and reading.