Banal biographies with a little something to offend or anaesthetize everyone. There's Attila and Justinian, Mohammed and Charlemagne, William I and Genghis Khan, Frederick II and seven Ottomans, Cortes and Catherine, and finally Napoleon. Tolstoy (and other anti-heroic historians) would shudder at the premise: ""it is the leader who directs the force... Sometimes the leader even creates the force."" Mohammedans wilt discover the Koran is the ""poor man's Bible"" and ""Islam was a poor man's religion, a fighting man's creed."" Some exaggeration for Potemkin who perpetrated ""one of the most amazing hoaxes in history"" on Catherine in the Crimea; some trivia for Cortes who fell on his head while climbing into a lady's chamber, delaying his trip for two years; almost poetry, for Napoleon's Josephine: ""the creole adventuress was a gracious empress."" Just south of history, on the road to gossip, near the sea of boredom.