Since I had misread the assignment for a couple weeks ago, I’d thought I’d re-publish my old thoughts. “Darnton does a wonderful job of getting into the mindset of these apprentices and attempting to create reasoning for their actions. By building and explaining the mindset of the worker in eighteenth-century France, Darnton is able to relate their actions to actions that the reader currently partakes in such as Marti Gras and the craziness that currently occurs. By adding an explanation as to the cruelty towards animals, Darnton is not able to justify the actions rather, he is able to explain their reasoning. One thing I did not feel Darnton did well was his use of organization within the chapter. As a reader, I did not see where he was going and it felt like he jumped around a little bit, albeit with transitions. With his choice of the introduction, it felt as if the chapter was going to be on cats and their “role” in eighteenth-century France.”
As for Kivelson, she does a good job with setting up her research methodology and thesis in a way the reader can understand what she is adding to the subject, so that those who wish to add on her to her work, know what was already tapped into. The comparison to other cultures is nice because it adds context to her work, which we as historians should always try and do. This helps connect our material to the reader so that they come away with a better understanding of the subject we are trying to convey. Finally, her use of quotes and literary style make this quite a readable piece. Unlike some historians, Kievelson does an excellent job of writing to “entertain” and inform the reader.