Book Review Information

Journal of West African History

Length: Review essays (not exceeding 1,000 words) should engage the interpretation, meaning, or importance of an author’s argument for a wider scholarly audience. Justification for shorter or longer reviews should be discussed with the Book Review Editor prior to submission.

Style: Head your review according to the Chicago Manual of Style, as follows:

Header format:
City, State: Publisher, Year. XXX pp., ISBN CCCC-CCCC. $00.00.

Header Example:
Achieving Blackness: Race, Nationalism, and Afrocentrism in the
Twentieth Century
Algernon Austin
New York, NY: New York University Press, 2006. 320 pp., ISBN
0814707084. $22.00. Paper.

Include your name and affiliation at the end of the review. Double space your document, with an extra space between paragraphs (rather than indenting each one). For transliteration questions see below. For style questions not addressed in these guidelines, follow the Chicago Manual of Style.

Submissions: Please submit your review within six weeks of receiving the book at

Offprints: Book review authors receive one gratis print copy, mailed to the address provided in their signed Publishing Agreement, and are invited to buy additional print copies at a discount. The Book Review Editor will also forward each review author an electronic offprint (in .pdf format).

Transliteration: General Guidelines

  • If there is an English word for a foreign term, please use it.
  • Foreign terms not found in a standard dictionary (e.g., should be italicized and fully transliterated according to the appropriate system (see below).
  • However, italicization and transliteration are not necessary for the following: 1. Foreign words found in a standard dictionary, 2. The names of heads of state and similarly well known individuals, and 3. Well known foreign organizations (e.g., Hamas).
  • Foreign titles should be italicized and transliterated (e.g., däǧǧazmač), unless they can be found in a standard dictionary (e.g., sheikh). Use italics for foreign currency terms.
  • Foreign language quotations, long or short, should not be italicized but should include quotation marks.