Back to Basics is organized into six main parts that can be roughly summarized as: land, energy, raising food, enjoying the harvest year-round, skills and crafts, and recreation. Each part has multiple subsections that go into greater detail about smaller topics. For example, within the Land: Buying It-Building on It section is "Realizing the Dream Of Owning a Place In the Country," which talks about whether to buy a particular piece of property by looking at drainage, erosion, soil fertility, and so forth.
The information is detailed and thorough, with many illustrations sprinkled throughout. For example, for buying and building, the book goes through step by step from looking at real estate ads, how to find out whether there's water on the property, how to evaluate the buildings and barns, how to plan your house and how to lay out buildings on the land, how to develop a piece of wilderness into a homestead, how to excavate, how to process timber into lumber, and how to build various types of structures: a log cabin, an adobe house, a stone house, a timber-frame barn, and an old-fashioned barn. Then it moves into developing a water supply, saunas and hot tubs, outhouses and composting toilets, fireplace construction, stone walls and paving with brick or stone, and finally, fences and gates.
That's just for one part of six, so I hope that gives you an idea of just how complete this book is. Because it's in fairly small type with small but detailed illustrations and it's laid out in a compact way, it can pack a lot of information into a relatively average form factor - the book is about an inch and a half thick and is laid out landscape-style, but is no more than nine by twelve inches. Also, you might fear that because of the breadth of information covered, the book will not be detailed. You're definitely left to fill in some of the finer points, but there is a surprising amount of depth and detail to much of the information.
This is truly like an encyclopedia of traditional skills and is a great resource for anyone beginning to farm or homestead or even considering it. There is much here that one could use in the city or on an urban homestead. In the Enjoying Your Harvest the Year Round section there are many recipes for food, drink and canning. There are DIY instructions for making your own roasting spit, making a hutch table, sewing patchwork quilts, catching fish and small game, and even making dugout canoes and log rafts. It's an incredible array of topics. Every time I open this book I learn something new.
There are definitely some areas that could be expanded: putting up food after harvest and medicinal herbs are two that I noticed. Other areas might be more basic for some folks who already have some knowledge of the topic. If you want to keep bees, for example, you'll probably want to get a book on beekeeping for beginners to supplement the information in Back to Basics. But you can't go wrong with this as a book that tells you a little bit about how to do just about everything from a traditional point of view. Definitely a worthwhile investment for anyone who's farming, but especially for the homesteading crowd.