I have read this text (cover to cover) for a History of Graphic Design class I teach. In the past, I have used the classic Meggs History of Graphic Design. I decided to try another text this semester, and I will be going back to Meggs next Spring. I found the higher number of images in Eskilson's book initially appealing, and from a quick scan of the text, it seemed fine. However, digging deeper into the text, I found that the price paid for all the pretty pictures was a less comprehensive text with some weird omissions.
Aside from skipping a significant amount of important territory in early design history (Guttenberg is in the "preface"? Really?), there were other inclusions and omissions that gave this text the feel of an editorial on design history, not a textbook. I don't care - or want to know - the personal design tastes of Eskilson. I don't want to know his political bent. I want to know the facts. Let my students and I evaluate the merits of a given design movement or designer.
The biggest omission (in my opinion) in this book was the complete absence of any work from David Carson. While we can argue the merits of his work, he was clearly a significant, important designer in the 90's. Much more than Tomato(!?) or Art Chantry. The text pertaining to Carson smells of personal distaste, not objective analysis. This, again, has no place in a history text. A book that is a series of critical essays on the history of design? Absolutely! But not a book claiming to be history, not opinion.
Others have mentioned the inaccuracies in the text, so I will leave it at was already said.
OK, one (of many) minor peeve: when writing about the psychedelic posters of the 60's, Eskilson refers to "Richard Griffin". A 5-minute scan online will show that the artists' name is Rick Griffin (I'm not talking about his birth certificate, but how he signed his work - all of it that I know of). Is this a big deal? No, but it communicates a lack of personal knowledge of the field - whether this is justified or not - that reduces the perceived credibility of the author. If I wrote a book on physics, and referred to "Al Einstein", I would not be taken seriously.
Enough. I'm done ranting. If you're really interested in the History of Graphic Design, get the Meggs book and expand out from there. I now view the Eskilson text as an additional resource, not a main reference source.