A.P. European History Summer Reading

  • A.P. European History Summer Reading


    In order to assist you in preparing for Advanced Placement European History, there will be one book required for summer reading. You must read the book and write a book review paper. The paper is due on the first Friday on which class is held in September.  You may select to read and evaluate ONE of the following books. 


    Summer Book Choices:


    (1) Eugene F. Rice, Jr. and Anthony Grafton’s The Foundations of Early Modern Europe

          (W.W. Norton &  Co., 2nd ed., 1994)

    (2) Thomas Carlyle’s The French Revolution: A History (Modern Library Classics, 2002);

    (3) Richard S. Dunn’s The Age of Religious Wars, 1559-1715 (W.W. Norton & Co., 2nd ed., 1980);

    (4) J.W. Burrow’s The Crisis of Reason: European Thought, 1848-1914 (Yale University Press, 2000).



    A book review will give you the opportunity to critique what the author has written. After reading the book, write and type a 5-7 page (double-spaced, size 12 type) book review, using The New York Times Sunday book reviews as your model. This assignment will count as your first test grade. In your essay, amidst your reflections, be sure to include answers to the questions which follow:


    1. What is the main thesis of the book?

    2. How does the book change your view of history?

    3. What questions do the authors ask and to what extent do the authors answer these


    4. What were you most surprised to learn about?

    5. What were you most disappointed to learn about?

    6. Did you enjoy the book? Was it worthwhile?

    7. If you were to have a discussion about this book with a friend, what would you tell them and would you recommend this book to them?

    8. Did the authors show any preconceived bias or biases? If so, what were these biases

        and how did the authors support their viewpoint?


    Students are also encouraged to read the following on their own during the year:

    Georges Lefebvre’s The Coming of the French Revolution (Princeton University Press);

    Harold Bloom’s The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages;

    Will Durant’s The Story of Philosophy; Daniel J.Boorstein’s The Discoverers.