Books that begin ""this book is about"" give warning of dangerous simplification ahead. The title is misleading: this is not biography and it certainly is not history. It is a queer hybrid of fragmentary anecdotes and compressed accounts of notable Greeks and Romans, strung together chronologically to give a superficial semblance of structure. The author proclaims the greatness of his subjects repeatedly but from this evidence no youngster will be convinced. This is not the stuff of which heroes--or good books--are made.