My first impression was it looked more akin to a coffee table book than anything suitable for an academic module. The old saying stood true, however, never judge a book by its cover.
The high production values are a wonderful change from dusty tomes and the regular inclusion of photographs, paintings and illustrations are actually remarkably helpful. The size does mean that I'm less likely to study with it in the library but staying at home for the chapters that need covering affords much more satisfactory tea breaks.
Aldrich includes chapters from noted historians within the topic, covering a large time and geographical scale. The contributions are fantastic - I have no qualms about using them for an essay or exam for a tutor with very high standards. They introduce the reader to the subject matter, providing a narrative framework to build on, whilst also considering the methodological issues behind the period and within the historiography.
It does feel as though there is a gap on geographically determined chapters. Although the last two chapters do consider the topic in non western cultures, they're dealt with broadly. There's also a gap for comparison between Britain and America as an explicit chapter. However, the book is sizeable and by no means lacking in content. These last comments feel a little like pedantry.