"The foundation chapter provides a clear and easy to understand introduction to meaningful markup techniques for CSS "hooks" - divs, spans, ids and classes as well as discussion on DOCTYPEs, browser modes and validation before diving in to CSS selector types, the cascade and specificity. The chapter finishes with discussion on how best to organise your stylesheets - no, don't just lump it all together in a single file ;)"
Actually, the first chapter does not provide a clear and easy to understand introduction to meaningful markup techniques for CSS "hooks". It is very badly written, as far as LEARNING anything goes.
I know - I bought this book as my first introduction to CSS, had huge problems learning anything from it, then bought "CSS: the missing manual" and learnt EVERYTHING I needed to know. That was three years ago. Now I know CSS as well as I ever will, and I came back to 'CSS Mastery' to see why I disliked it so much the first time round. Andy Budd is simply not very good at TEACHING what he knows. And the book is full of mistakes in the markup - meaning that if you actually type in what the book says, much of the time it will not work, because they have named classes incorrectly, mixed them up, etc. and you'll be left scratching your head, wondering why your webpage isn't displaying properly.
Also, why are all the hacks addressed using the * HTML hack, etc. instead of using IE's conditional comments, within an @import CSS file? I'm sorry, but this book is nothing like a good introduction to CSS. It doesn't help beginners, and it doesn't help people who have learnt most of the CSS they need to create their websites. I know - I read it from both sides of that perspective, before and after learning CSS. The first chapter alone shows you that Andy Budd doesn't know how to teach either beginners, or competent CSS users. He addresses things which beginners would have no way of knowing, without explaining them in the slightest, yet presents ideas that competent CSS users understood years ago. Which market is he trying to sell the book to?
Then throughout the book he uses class and ID names without displaying them in bold, a different font, or quotation marks - so they are easily lost in the text, and as he often uses normal words for classes and IDs, it makes it very difficult for a beginner to understand what he is saying.
I think the five star reviews are more 'hero worship' and 'me too' bandwagon jumpers, than anything else. This is NOT a good book to learn CSS from. Good luck if you try.