Book summaries of this kind represent an odd gray zone in the humanities. They’re a slightly more refined version of the scribbled notes that all of us take during classes, workshops, conferences, and colloquia. They aren’t critical reviews meant to stimulate evaluation and debate. They aren’t scholarship. They are certainly not anything I would put in a tenure file. Instead they’re the boring, nuts-and-bolts side of being an historian – ingesting several hundred pages of material and condensing it into a short, schematic summary. But this gray zone is also an important part of our profession. It’s what quals are all about: establishing a command (however tenuous) over the literature in the field.