I am wading through The Violin: A Social History of the World's Most Versatile Instrument.
It is interesting but there is a lot of info over the course of about 400 years and you have to at least have a passing knowledge of the history of the violin and it's great makers or heard the names at some point to string it all together.
That said the writer keeps it moving and interesting. Funny that as few as 50 years ago you could buy a Strad, Guarneri, or Amati for about $50k. The collectors are the ones who drove up the prices.