Monograph Evaluation

El-Shazly, Nadia El-Sayed. The Gulf Tanker War. New York: St. Martins Press, 1998.

            The monograph that I chose for this assignment is The Gulf Tanker War by Nadia El-Sayed El-Shazly. I had a hard time trying to find the qualifications for the author. This book does not have a page dedicated the to background of the author as many other monographs do. There was not much information on author but the preface did offer some light into the past and qualifications of the author. The preface described the research methods the author used. El-Shazly did much of her research in Egypt and relied heavily on Egyptian and Middle Eastern scholars and historians. The use of historians that were geographically close to the conflict but are not from the nations that were directly involved is a good way to get a detailed yet non-biased perspective. The preface gave a lot of excellent information yet no information on where the author studied or any information on her academic past was given which leaves a question to be answered.

The publishing company of this work is St. Martin’s press. After quick background search I learned that St. Martins is a fairly prestigious publisher publishing quite a bit of academic material including high quality historical books. St. Martins and its affiliate Macmillan Press, which published this book in Great Britain, are not vanity presses by any means. Published in 1998 in both the United States and Great Britain, this monograph was released about 10 years after the conflict that is the topic of the book took place. 10 years might not be enough time to publish a book on a historical topic because it takes time for an abundance of work on a topic to be published.

The table of contents was one of the most valuable resources when evaluating a monograph. In the table of contents from The Tanker Wars much can be learned. The table of contents shows that good background information for the conflict will be given. The book lays out the lead up to the conflict from both sides but focuses more on Iraq, which is great for my topic. The table of contents also shows there is a lot of good information on the geopolitical and geostrategic conditions of the Gulf during this time period. There is also a very detailed chronological survey that goes month by month over a 4-year period during which the conflict took place, which is shown in the table of contents.

This monograph also has 11 pages of dense bibliographic information, which includes interviews, official publications, unpublished data/papers, lectures, books, articles, and Videos as sources.

Overall this seems to be a very legitimate monograph that will help tremendously with my topic.

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