There are numerous other reviews on GR that will tell you what this one's about. I'm not going to reinvent the wheel - just say that I found it fascinating and thought provoking. Occasionally it was a little bit saddening - the long litany of sufferings, many of them so very avoidable got to me at times. I could have used a little more leavening but it was still an absorbing book, full up to the brim of "I didn't know that!" moments.