Speaking with commanding authority but also with genuine affection, professional violinist Roth combines an encyclopedic knowledge of violin lore with a journalist's flair for storytelling in this enormous, and enormously entertaining, volume. His subjective, opinionated commentary may offend some, but most readers will appreciate his uncompromising honesty in evaluating performances and recordings, even of players still alive. A chapter on women violinists is a welcome addition, though current luminaries such as Midori and Sarah Chang rate only a listing and photo in the final chapter, "Whither Violin Art?" The book clearly is a celebration of past artists rather than an in-depth view of the current crop, but that's understandable, given the length of time necessary to evaluate an artist's achievement properly. Recommended for libraries with large music holdings.Larry A. Lipkis, Moravian Coll., Bethlehem, Pa.