These straightforward, factual accounts of the youths of sixteen famous men whose lives span a period of five centuries are a refreshing release from the doctored chatter of so many of our American series biographies. Including such men as Ieonardo, Franklin, Washington, Faraday, Baden- Powell and so forth, the list shows a good sampling from all walks of life. And the very informative sketches place the men, as boys, in clear cut historical perspective. We learn for example that Mozart was unique for his composing rather than as a child prodigy on the clavichord; that Edison made inventing a business; that much of Dickens' writing was backgrounded by the incidents of his youth. Mr. Pringle is skillful too in portraying character and surroundings and accounting for the experiences that enable him to establish each of his subjects' relative importance for mankind.