King and Tranquada worked for years on this book, and the love, care and devotion they put into it shine on every page. (The footnotes alone are worth the price of admission.) Even if you don't play 'ukulele -- heck, even if you have no interest in music at all -- you'll find this extremely-well researched effort to be a wonderfully entertaining trip through over 120 years of American and international history and culture. The reader effortlessly rides the "waves" of 'ukulele popularity and ubiquitous-ness that followed, or in many cases led, world-altering events such as the U.S.'s annexation of Hawaii, the commercial worlds' fairs of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, World War I, the Depresssion, World War II, and the successive emergences of popular sheet music, records, radio, television, and now the internet. While some of it is "old hat" (but really well-told old hat) for 'uke afficionados, a lot of the information is of the "who knew?" variety, including mention of the 'ukulele and professional baseball players, and the 'ukulele and the young Prince Edward (later Duke of Windsor). And very artfully and entertainingly written is how the 'ukulele, which once represented everything that was kitschy and co-opted about the Hawaiian Islands, later came to be a symbol of the emerging indigenous Hawaiian civil rights and social justice movement. Sadly, Mr. King -- himself a superb 'ukulele musician -- didn't live to see the book published, but his spirit certainly lives on in it. And if you're a non-musician who reads this book, my bet is that your next shopping stop after Amazon will be to your local 'ukulele store.