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YA-- McCullough's compendium of fascinating mini-biographies is a sheer delight, and will hold the attention of many history and science students. In this distillation of over 20 years of his shorter essays, the author chose individuals who are distinctive for their contributions to culture. The 17 biographies highlight the fields of social work, etymology, architecture, literature, and history, all of which are interconnected in memorable ways. The book maintains strong reader interest because of an intelligent, practiced, precise style combined with a wise and rich choice of subject. Familiar figures such as Harriet Beecher Stowe, Miriam Rothschild, and Teddy Roosevelt share space with lesser-known individuals--but all are people who merit admiration. Superb storytelling with a unique slant makes this work a strong acquisition for all collections.-- Carol Beall, Immanuel Christian School, Springfield, VA

Despite the diversity of their interests and achievements, the men and women profiled in this collection of 17 essays by bestselling historian McCullough ( The Great Bridge ; The Path Between the Seas ) had a lot in common. Whether scientist (Louis Agassiz, Alexander von Humboldt), engineer (John and Washington Roebling), writer (Harriet Beecher Stowe, Conrad Aiken) or artist (Frederic Remington), each had a special perspective that continues to influence us. A skilled portraitist, McCullough vibrantly captures these viewpoints as he relates their impact on his own thought. Produced over 20 years, the essays unfold seamlessly to reveal the uniqueness of individuals whose ``work and interests are inspiriting forces.'' History Book Club and QPB alternates. (Nov.)

Cleveland Plain Dealer If you enjoy good stories well told about interesting people and places, you should read this book. You will learn something about history -- and also about good historical writing.
The New York Times Book Review McCullough's portrayals...are models of compression, perspective, and the discriminating use of detail, and of what the author calls "the possibilities for self-expression in writing narrative history."
Dallas Morning News It will come as no surprise to the reader to learn that Mr. McCullough's first ambition was to be a portrait painter. He has supplied us with admirable portraits....All his subjects come alive.

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