This is a really great book about the history and development of linear Karate, and the individuals involved. It does focus primarily on Shotokan, but is a great resource to anyone interested in the history of Karate, and shows how closely the many modern styles of Karate are related.
This book shows how styles are really just an individuals interpretation and a modern concept. It uses a scientific approach to look at the evidence, and in the context of the time in which we are looking at. Many history books and texts look at the subject matter through modern eyes, but this book does not. It takes into account the political climate, beliefs of the time, and the real life dangers of those involved.
It shatters many myths, and shows why Karate was developed. Combative efficiency in a turbulent and dangerous time. That is not to say that sport and 'do' aspects of the martial arts are of no use, but puts them into the realm of modern developments.