An authoritative narrative account of American Literary history from - as you might expect - Puritanism to postmodernism.
To the student, I found this book particularly useful in regard to some of the authors that, as an English student, I was less familiar with. Particularly, this book covers the period of writing between 1780-1820 in very good (introductory) detail, while revealing some authors that a nineteenth-century American Literature course may not have time to include at all. However, this is an example of good supplementary reading, I should stress, it is not a theme-orientated exam-focused book by any means.
To the general interest reader, the book is clearly written and will prove an enjoyable read. Clearly, given the length of the book, it goes into relatively little depth, but the economy and clarity of the writing is such that it is surprising how much is packed into this small, almost introductory format.
A reader that is very familiar with the writing of the period may find this book of less interest, although the sheer ease of reading would prove enjoyable and certainly contains interesting insights into comparatively peripheral authors and works other than the acknowledged `big hitters' of American Literature - Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, Whitman, etc.
Overall, a true introductory narrative account with all of the advantages and disadvantages associated with this style.