Since the readership of Souls approaches Critical Black Studies from a variety of scholarly disciplines and typically utilizes a multi-methodological research strategy, book reviews must consider both the substantive content of the work as well as its place in, and the nature of its value to, the field of Critical Black Studies. The following guidelines are intended to assist authors in writing their book reviews. However, authors are expected to adapt the guidelines to the work under review and to employ their own imagination and judgment.

1. Basic Review Criteria

a. The review should include a summary of the content of the work as well as indicate the extent to which it is informed by Critical Black Studies.

b. The review should also locate and critically evaluate the book within the context of existing literature on both the subject matter of the text and the field of Critical Black Studies. How does the work contribute to our knowledge of the subject and what insight does the author provide for a Critical Black Studies mode of inquiry?

c. A reviewer can also appropriately comment upon the author’s organization and structure of argument, use of primary and secondary data sources, and style and language.

d. All book reviews should be about 750 to 1000 words in length. A dual review, which compares and contrasts two books, can be up to 1500 words. Any exceptions to these word limits must be negotiated on a case-by-case situation with the book review editor.

2. Submission Protocol and Further Suggestions

a. The heading should be as follows:

THE TITLE OF THE BOOK: A BOOK REVIEW. By The Author. The Location of the Publisher: Publisher Press, Year. 256 pp. Hardbound, price; Paperback, price.

(If the book is not published by a major publisher, please note in the heading the publisher’s website or other contact information)

b. Reviews are to be typed, double-spaced, and submitted electronically as a Word or RTF document. They should be emailed to: with the subject line containing Book Review: (title of book)

c. When quoting directly from the work under review, cite the page number(s) after the quote. Do not use p. or pp. with the page numbers. If you cite from another work for comparative purposes, do not footnote, instead, provide an in-text citation (author, title and date of publication).

d. Place your name and institutional affiliation on the right hand side of the last page, followed by your contact information.

e. Souls conforms to the Chicago Manual of Style. Please consult this reference for all questions about style of punctuation, capitalization, etc…

f. Please be fair in your review; avoid digressive essays that do not address in a forthright manner the book under consideration; likewise, please avoid ad hominem criticisms.

g. Please refrain from listing typographical or other minor errors unless they substantially detract from the book’s quality.

h. Please advise the Souls editorial staff if you find the book inappropriate to be reviewed in Souls.

3. Editorial Revision Policy

The editors will make minor corrections (spelling, grammar, etc.) without consulting the author. More substantial copy editing will be submitted to the author for approval. The editors will make an effort to submit reviews to authors for revision as necessary and as time permits. However, the final decision to print any review rests with the editors.

4. Author Copies.

Each review author will receive a copy of the issue of Souls in which his or her review appears. Upon request, an author can receive a pdf file of the published review.

5. Books Available for Review:

If you wish to see a list of books we currently have available for review, please email with “Book Review List Request” in the Subject line.

If you would like to review a book on the list, or have a different book in mind, please send us an email that includes the book you wish to review and your contact information.

When we send you the book or else email you approval, we will provide you with a deadline so that your review can appear in the next issue of Souls.

6. Publishers

If you have a book that you think is appropriate for review in Souls. Please send a copy to the following address:

Vanessa Agard-Jones, Managing Editor
Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Culture, Politics and Society
Center for Contemporary Black History
Columbia University
760 Schermerhorn Extension
Mail Code 5513
1200 Amsterdam Avenue
New York, NY 10027

7. Reviewers guidelines for Translated Books

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