This is a fairly short book, part of the European History in Perspective series, which offers a brief but insightful overview of German political history between 500 and 1300. The book is divided into three parts: the peoples of medieval Germany; the neo-Roman western Empire adopted by the Franks and the Germans, and its impact; and the consequences of German kingship with its various institutional arrangements.
The difficulty and complexity of the material is handled well; the chapters are divided into short, snappy sections, each with their own subheading, so it allows the reader to take a brief break every so often to absorb what has been read so far. I find this works well with heavy scholarly information which may be new to the reader.
Medieval Germany seems to be a difficult subject to get a grip on; the lack of works in English coupled with the very different political and regional history of the area means that the reader needs to approach the material that is available and attempt to grasp as much as possible. This book offers a concise approach to this difficulty - however, I found that I benefited most from reading a short section at a time, and allowing the information to be absorbed - information overload was a real risk if you tried to take in too much at any one time. This is due not to any shortcoming in the book, but just in the complexity of the material itself. Overall, a valiant effort to introduce highly difficult and complex material; and a very worthwhile study.