I came across this thread while researching whether or not to buy this book, and almost didn't because of the postings above. However, I decided to purchase this book, and I'm very glad I did.
If you're looking for yet another book about beer, as defined from a Euro-American perspective, you should definitely pass this one over. However, if you're interested in
- the use of herbs in traditional fermented beverages
- brief histories of fermentation from a number of different cultures
- browsing ideas for unconventional brews
this is a great book.
To author writes in a note at the beginning: "This book is primarily intended to share the poetry and beauty of ancient fermentation and only secondarily to share recipes, some more than 2000 years old, for making ancient sacred and healing beers."
I hope this helps others who are considering this book but unsure of what they'd be getting. Personally, I'm excited about brewing heather ale (p 27; a recipe for this is also found in Radical brewing) and the millet beer, Chang (p 122), a traditional beverage that I tried when visiting northern India several years ago.