Frank Whitford has provided the lay reader with a fine introduction to the life of one of the foremost artists of the century, one of the innovators of expressionism, yet a man who went his own way rather than acting in conformity with the tenets of a school. (To be fair, this was the customary behavior of the Masters, Impressionists, Post-Impressionists or Expressionists.)
The writing is clear, the subject thoroughly researched but not delivered in the Academic manner, and the volume is relatively brief. By design, there is an absence of color reproductions, an emphasis on black and white photographs of some of the people involved, and, mostly, not very good black and white photographs of a few of his pictures mentioned in the text. Clearly, this is not intended to be an introduction to his works, save in the broadest fashion, in the context of what he was doing at each stage of development; I should think one will be stimulated to pursue the works themselves through some of the sources available in English.
I won't go into any details of his life, his few years with Alma Mahler, one of the most fascinating woman of the era, is covered in the book ,as is his experience with World War 1 in which he was severely wounded and then, when returned to duty, suffered a major breakdown involving some pretty bizarre behavior.
I imagine nobody will come upon this review who has not had his curiosity piqued as to Kokoschka's life (or is doing a term paper involving him) so there should be no need to do a content review.To repeat, if one wants an easily read, satisfying introduction, this will serve you well. By the way, it is available from some of the other sites which aggregate booksellers, at a price half or less that which is currently listed for the Amazon affiliated sellers.