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For a great historical perspective of modern kendo, take a look at Donn F. Draeger's "Modern Bujutsu & Budo." He covers most of the modern budo disciplines in this book, but his chapter on modern kendo traces the art from its Meiji era roots to the present.
I think Draeger's writing is rather scholarly and dry. But if you can look past that, he offers some rather interesting insight on the history of modern kendo.
I emphasize "modern" kendo here, because I practice a more classical, itto-ryu based kendo called Sakurai-ha Kohgen Itto-ryu which demphasizes the sporting aspect of today's kendo and instead focuses on classical techniques in iaido, kata, shinai kendo, tai-yoho (similar to aikido), and soyjutsu (spear) to bring down an opponent. But perhaps that's best left for another thread at another time.....