If you have ever had even a passing interest in the history of Japan from the perspective of the warrior class who played a major role in defining it, then this is probably the best choice of book on the subject. It approaches the topic from the earliest accounts of the samurai right though to the end of the samurai era, taking a fairly high level, "big picture" type view. The book looks more at the "why" something happened, than the "how" of events. This provides some fascinating insights into the history of Japan and allows the reader to grasp the overall history of feudal Japan with just the right balance of details and objectivity. That said, there is still quite a bit of detail of some of the more notable battles, but high level, campaign type information is not the purpose of this book. It is more interested in letting the reader understand what happened in Japanese history and why it unfolded as it did, with out bogging down in micro detail. The book is superbly researched and is very well written, and despite the fact that it is a "history" book, it is a very enjoyable, extremely informative read. It is thoroughly recommended.