I have been dabbling in Genealogy for a few years now. I have read, and in fact own, several books on the subject. I thought I knew quite a lot. I picked this book up at the local library sort of on whim; well, more than a whim because I needed some information in my battle with our government over some military records of long passed relatives. I brought the book home to study that particular section. I ended up reading the entire thing, cover to cover! I found I knew far less than I thought I knew!
Good grief, if I had to pick and choose and be allowed only one book on this subject, I would most certainly, without hesitation, pick this one. I learned more in the four days it took to read the thing than I have learned from all the other books I have read combined, and all the seminars I have attended. I felt a mild (well, actually it was more than mild) attack of chagrin when I finished and began realizing all the money I have wasted....arrrrrgh!
From setting up and organizing (an area in my life that needs a lot of work), through the actual process of DNA testing, it is all here. Research methods, obscure unthought of sources, methods of snipping though the endless red tape (this aspect of this hobby, if you want to call it a hobby, drives me up a wall), traditional and nontraditional methods and sources of research, on-line resources, planning a successful genealogical research trip, cost considerations, (did I mention valuable and obscure research sources?), searching in other countries, cemetery research, and the list goes on and on and on.
One of the best and most delightful aspects of this book though is its readability. The author writes for the reader and not to the reader or down to the reader. He says what he wants to say and does not muck around about it. You get the information you need served up in a very straightforward manner. No mumbling and word play here. I do love and appreciate this. I will bet that this guy is one heck of a teacher.
And for me the absolute best thing, and one of the most helpful, where the author's tips on organizing the information you already have and the information you will get, and be able to record all of this information into a comprehensive format(s) that you and others can actually read and make sense of. That information alone is pure gold as far as I am concerned.
The book is very will organized, very well referenced and liberally illustrated. At 442 pages of high quality paper, it is a heavy puppy but not so heavy that it is a burden to pack with you on your many trips.
My Scrooge like qualities as to money are legendary in my family as well as among my friends, but I am actually going to spring for the bucks and buy this volume to add to my collection...actually, I might well sell the other books on this subject and stick with just this one!