An exhaustive thesis on a specific era in Archie history, the 12-cent period of the 1960s. Beaty dissects the denizens of Riverdale and all the trappings that made Archie / Pep / Laugh, etc. what they were - formulaic stories (sometimes with plots) drawn as diversions for a young readership. You'll learn more about Archie and the gang than ever realized and may come away realizing things you hadn't before - e.g. the progression of Archie comics through a changing decade, constant repetition of gags/tropes, etc.
Like the author, I grew up on comics like Archie, Richie Rich, and the like. I enjoyed reading about the comics from a scholarly perspective, particularly now with the recent attempts to reboot the brand.