This work provides not just an Introduction to reconstructing the life of the historical Jesus, but also to the modes of biblical criticism. The chapter on the Method and Setting of Jesus' Ministry is particularly valuable, and rightly points out misconceptions about the amount of time Jesus would have spent in Judea as opposed to his native Galilee. The book is well written, and the information it provides set down clearly for comfortable reading. In places more detail might be useful, especially regarding the primary and secondary sources that he uses, although these discrepancies are totally rectified by his more in depth works, such as the celebrated 'Jesus and Judaism,' and his work on Paul.
As to his conclusions, they are both conservative and forward looking. This is not a contradiction, as Sanders really pioneers the view that much can be known about the historical Jesus, while at the same time not straying drastically outside generally accepted scholarly thought. His is a careful, but worthy, reconstruction of the life and times of arguably the most influential figure in history.