Book reviewing entails a sustained, thoughtful, critical and generous engagement with another scholar’s work […] The chief value of book reviewing is in its continuation of the conversation started in a book, in situating the work in wider discussions happening within the field and therefore of seeing academic books not as the final product of a singular genius, but as part of an ongoing, shifting, discursive and collective process of scholarship. This, I think, is partly why book reviewing feels like a collegial, feminist activity. Similarly, book reviewing holds value as a way of making often challenging, complex material accessible to a wider audience and thus can also be seen, at least in part, as a pedagogical act.
Rather than a summary of the book, reviews should be an engaged commentary–creative and analytical, coupling incisive criticism with appreciation. We’d encourage reviewers to be charitable, that is, to understand and comprehend rather than judge and condemn; we’re certainly not against critique, but we’d ask them to recognise authors’ aims and intentions. If reviewers seek examples, the reviews that appear in The Times Literary Supplement, the London Review of Books, the Boston Review, and The New York Review of Books are a good starting point. And as they say at the London Review, we’d like reviewers to think not only about offering valuable assessments of new work, but also about contributing new work themselves. If they’re reviewing an edited collection, reviewers might consider the advice included here.
Reviews should be written in a lucid and lively style. Where appropriate, they should evoke the book’s connections with conversations ongoing in the journal, and relevance for radical geographic thought or practice more generally. The length for reviews is flexible–1,200-1,500 words are recommended for a standard review, but we occasionally publish 3,000-word essays. Reviews should be submitted within two months from receipt of a review copy; submitted reviews will be reviewed and copy-edited, and reviewers have the opportunity to respond to comments and undertake any further edits necessary before a final version is agreed.
Newly commissioned book reviews will appear online only on AntipodeOnline.org (https://antipodeonline.org/category/book-reviews/). This allows us to offer more reviews with greater flexibility and timeliness. As part of this flexibility, the review section will become more capacious to include any texts (such as film, music, grey literature and political pamphlets, theatre, exhibitions) that have something to say to the radical geographic imagination. In addition, all older, “pre-AntipodeOnline.org” reviews are now available to readers, at no charge, as part of an online repository.
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