I've read and worked with a fair number of other bread books over the years (Dan Lepard, Peter Reinhardt, James Beard, Nancy Silverton) and this one is hands down the best. The book is crammed full of information about the science and art of bread baking--useful tools, why starters work, why different bakers might use different starters, more information than I have ever found on the subject of flour, etc--combined with fascinating stories from the Mr. Leader's travels and work with other bakers. The book contains recipes for a few different kinds of starter, explaining why different types are useful for different breads.
The book discusses the breads of a variety of regions in France, Italy, Germany, and the Czech Republic. Each of the main chapters takes on a region and discusses some of the history of bread baking in the area, and then walks you through how to make various related breads. The chapters usually start out with the most basic recipes for the region and move on to the more complicated recipes. The recipes are well illustrated with shaping techniques, etc. The ingredients amounts are given in volume, metric weight, imperial weight and bakers percentage. Talk about thorough! I've found the recipes easy to follow and I've had a lot of success. This is the one bread book I would never give up.