Summary/Analysis Instructions for The Brethren


American National Government, Spring 2006


 T Night Class:  Discussion/Quiz 4/18; Paper Due 4/25

M/W Class:  Discussion/Quiz 4/10; Paper Due 4/12


This paper should include your responses to the book The Brethren.  The paper should answer all of the Questions for Consideration.  Feel free to comment on other information you think is interesting or important that is included in the book.  Your own words are almost always more effective, but you can use quotations from the book (but try to stay away from them).  Direct quotes must have quotation marks and the page number on which they appear should also be included (see instructions on the back of this page). Your papers can also comment on material related to information presented in lecture (by the way, this is one way to show analysis).  These papers must be typed, double-spaced, and well written (correct grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc.).  There is no page requirement, but I will guess that it will probably take at least 1,000 words, or four pages to answer the questions with enough supporting detail.  Make sure to include a title page and follow the other technical details (five points) and staple the pages together. Do not buy a cover for the paper.


The easiest way to write this paper is to answer each question in its own paragraph or series of paragraphs.  That is perfectly fine.  If you would rather write an essay that incorporates some of the answers to the Questions for Consideration, that is fine.  The layout/organization of this paper is entirely up to you.


The quiz over the book will be the first 15 minutes of class on the date of the discussion.  The quiz will be open note & open book.  Students may use any hand written (not photocopied or typed) notes they have written to help with this quiz.


Questions for Consideration


1.     Who were the Brethren?  What was their scheme for making money?

2.     Describe two of the men targeted by the Brethren (other than Aaron Lake) as they tried to extort money from them.  Who were they?  How did the Brethren hope to get their money?  How successful were the Brethren in this scam? 

3.     In what ways did the CIA influence Aaron Lake’s candidacy & campaign? 

4.     How does the book portray characteristics of the US Justice System?  (Hint: you may want to discuss conditions in minimum-security prisons, sentencing guidelines for criminals, etc.).  What, if anything, should be done to modify the system? 

5.     How does the book demonstrate the way money impacts elections?  What was D-PAC?  In what ways did money impact Aaron Lake’s campaign?  Do you think money can and does impact elections in the US today?  What, if anything, should be done to rectify this problem?

6.     What are the strengths and weaknesses of this book as a source for analyzing American Government?  (Hint:  What was the author’s background?  Was the book easy/hard to follow?  How was it organized?  Was it informative?  Did the book accurately portray the American political system?)






Citation Format Style


1.     Underline or italicize the titles of books or ships.


2.     Spell out all numbers between zero and nine.


3.     Please do not place your name anywhere on your paper other than the title page.  I try to grade papers anonymously.


4.     Watch verb-tense; usually past tense is best to use while writing, but the paper may be written in either past or present tense.  Just make sure to be consistent.


5.     Try to avoid over-use of quotations, but any quotation longer than four lines should be indented fives paces and single-spaced (rather than double-spaced).   If/when this is done, there is no need for quotation marks.


6.     Example of how a direct quote taken from the book you are assigned to read should be cited: 


“The Geneva Accords of 1954 reflected these influences” (41).


7.     Example of how to cite a direct quote taken from a book review or a source other than the assigned book: 


“The prose style of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s work Uncle Tom’s Cabin elicits an emotional response from readers” (Stevenson 1981, 52).


8.     If a source other than the book that is assigned is used, a list of references is required.  The reference page should be the last page of the paper and entries should be organized in alphabetical order according to author (not numbered).  Entries should also be single-spaced within the entry and double-spaced between each entry.


a)     Example for a book:


Cronon, William.  Changes in the Land.  New York:  Hill and Wang,



b)    Example for a journal article:


Jackson, Richard.  “Running Down the Up-Escalator.”  Australian

          Geographer 14 (May 1979):  175-184.


c)     Example for internet sources:


DiStefano, Vince. “Guidelines for Better Writing.”^vinced/home/better-writing.html.


d)    Example for Lecture:


Nagle, Michael.   Progressives & WWI.  February 12, 2005.