Well, the full title of this book isnt mis-leading, but my expectations were not met in reading this book. In a nutshell, this book contains little historical or technical information and is largely a hardcover catalogue for Martins current signature and limited run instruments.
There are a few little tid bits of information here and there for the die-hard Martin geek. Being a guitar geek myself, I appreciate techno babble and tid bits, but this is really nothing other than a very nice photo catalogue. As such, it may have a certain interest to those collectors who want to have the 2002-2003 offering memorialized on thier shelf. Some of the photos are indeed great, with photos of a few truly custom instruments (known among us geeks as guitar 'porn') which would otherwise probably not be seen by many.
I am writng this because having seen the grand book displayed for a few months on merchant shelfs, I had assumed it would be the typical historical account of some great instruments, maybe with info about those involved, such as the artists-but this is not the case-probably because they arent, which is implicit from reading many of the accounts of artist's involvment.
I found it instead to be eye-candy, at best, at worst, little substance in information regarding either instruments, or artists or the company, such as the development of instruments, thier market or even the material used. A ho-hum book for all but the most hungry of Martin collectors. Truly a sad statement for a book by one of Martins marketing people, all form, little substance, selling the sizzle, not the steak.