I've got the top one. A fair bit of the book is taken up with vegetarian politics and gay politics, and I guess if one wanted that one would have bought a book on that. To me it was irrelevant digression. (I'm not sure the anecdotes about people with twee and rather self-conscious names add a lot either.) There's a fair bit on the politics of food, too -- which is kind of relevant, but one would probably want to go to a more knowledgable source like Joel Salatin for that. The recipes and directions are competent enough. He got a big gun in for the foreword, too -- the godmother of the ancestral food movement, Sally Fallon.
Yeah, it's OK. It's more a set of musings around the notion of fermented foods with some directions thrown in than a straightforward how-to. I guess there's good precedent for that in the food world. I suppose people don't read Elizabeth David for the recipes. But then this man isn't Elizabeth David. I enjoyed it, but you might want to be aware that it's rather discursive in case that's not what you're looking for.
I don't know the other book. You can probably find quite a lot of information online, if you're not sure you want to spend the money.