A pedestrian life of Alfred Nobel with capsule biographies of all the Peace Prize winners. Gray shies away from interpretation in his recitation of Nobel's vital statistics, presenting only the factual data on the ""King of Dynamite,"" Son of an explosives manufacturer, he experimented with nitroglycerin and, in progressive steps, developed an explosive which combined the power of nitro with the safety of gelignite, then refined the principle further, producing a ""smokeless powder."" Besides facing hostile neighbors wherever he wanted to build his factories, he had a sad affair with a young Viennese flowergirl and a hapless marriage to a golddigger he nicknamed ""The Troll."" His later years were filled with migraines and regrets, and he died--as he feared--alone. His will was imprecise and a controversy followed in which some attempted to have it declared invalid. Although Gray acknowledges that some of the Laureates have been of dubious persuasions (especially Kissinger, Hammarskjold, Marshall, and Stresemann), the accounts of their achievements are really perfunctory, grouped by decade and prefaced by reminders of their times and alliterative chapter titles. A serviceable resource for school assignments.