This is a better piece of writing, a better rounded work than his earlier Doctors on Horseback. There is singularly little available on the men who built the early traditions of American art. Grace Irwin's Trailblasers of American Art, written for boys and girls, has been used for adults for lack of something more mature. Now James Flexner gives us the stories of Benjamin West, Quaker historical painter, who conquered two continents and became the friend of kings; who set new standards of teaching and criticism and new principles of technique; of John Singleton Copley, who put realism into portrait painting; Charles Willson Peale, who was a painter, a scientist, an inventor, a business man, an eccentric; of Gilbert Stuart, Tory, who is best known for his portraits of Washington: They represented contrasting sides of American life, and their stories make good reading. Illustrated with 32 reproductions of the artists' works. Good chance for plus sale for schools and colleges. Should be popular for club groups and art classes.