Tuesday, March 3, 2009

the story of research

Ain't Nothing But a Man: My Quest to Find the Real John Henry by Scott Reynolds Nelson
Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)
Genre: non-fiction, history
Review: The author made an interesting choice to make the story of his own research the focus of this book. I think it worked really well in this case, given that there's so little known about the actual John Henry. Nelson is very up-front about the fact that much of his results are based on theory or conjecture, but overall the transparency of his research process gives a lot of weight to his conclusions. This is an interesting book both for what it tells us about the research process, but also for what we learn about John Henry's world.

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