The life of the ""Teacher of Teachers,"" the first female Italian doctor, who led, almost by accident, an education revolution, and who created in a Roman slum the teaching method that would become the basis for the system of Montessori schools. This engrossing biography of a giant in her field draws a picture of a brilliant woman devoted to work, whose iron determination overcame all obstacles. Though clearly admiring, Shephard deals with Montessori's problems as well as her triumphs, including her illegitimate son, and the time when her own ego and inflexibility interfered with the spread of her movement. The book focuses more on Montessori than her methods; thus several important pieces of equipment are mentioned without real explanation. But this is a fluent, readable work on an important figure often overlooked.