Introductions and Commentaries regarding the Apostolic Fathers can be stale, intimidating, or simply boring. This is unfortunate given how important these writers can be for the study of the New Testament and early Christianity. So it is fortunate that Reading the Apostolic Fathers, An Introduction, by Clayton N. Jefford is available.
In a section entitled "For the Reader" Jefford is quite clear on his goal, which is to provide a "quick and simple introduction" to the material. As he notes, there are "other, more extensive surveys" available, but that "these tend to be expense, hard to obtain, or difficult to use except by specialists in early Church history." Most are out of print as well (thankfully this was remedied somewhat by the release of Michael Holme's The Apostolic Fathers). To be clear, Jeffords does not include the complete texts of the writings themselves. This is an introduction only.
After an introduction focusing on just who the Apostolic Fathers were, Jeffords moves chapter by chapter through each one. Starting with the Letter of Barnabas, Jeffords proceeds through The Didache, the Letters of Ignatius, the Letter of Polycarp, the Martyrdom of Polycarp, 1 Clement, 2 Clement, the Shepard of Hermas, and the Letter to Diognetus. Each section discusses the surviving manuscripts, authorship, dating, provence, the "special traits" of the text, and the relationship to the Old and New Testaments. Thereafter Jeffords provides an Outline of the writing, and a summary of its argument. Finally, there is a list of more detailed commentaries.
On the whole, a very helpful Introduction that fills its niche well. It does not pretend to be more.