An interesting overview of the history of the English language. This book is a companion to a PBS TV series. It was also fascinating to compare these authors' approach to the history of English compared to the view presented in David Crystal's books on the subject of the English language, which I studied in college.
I read some of it - it was written in 1986, doesn't appear to have much updating beyond the introduction - egad - I remember 25 years ago whan Robert MacNeil took time off to write this. Some interesting parts about how the BBC worked (or didn't) to standardize the English of their broadcasts.