A frequent research topic at the secondary level is a biographical account of an historically significant figure. Often this affords students the chance to learn a great deal about one person but few opportunities to connect that knowledge to a deeper understanding of history and the human condition. Polelle’s book creates a thoughtful framework of leadership within which students can consider their research in a more meaningful light. The preface and introduction raise central philosophical and theoretical concerns about leadership: Are leaders born or made? Are there universal qualities about leadership? Are there patterns in the study of leadership that might be helpful to understand in the living of our daily lives? The portraits which follow don’t answer these deeper questions but rather provide potential evidence in the formulation of the reader’s own ideas about leadership. The portraits are divided into nine chapters according to the type of leadership, including the political, religious, military, intellectual, scientific, female, diplomatic, entrepreneurial and artistic. The figures selected for inclusion are all powerhouses, including politicians like Charlemagne, Lincoln, Mao and Churchill; religious leaders like Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha and Luther; intellectuals like Marks, Thoreau and Nietzsche; female leaders such as Joan of Arc and Elizabeth I and artists like Picasso and DaVinci. Each biography is two or three pages long, enough to review the subject’s important contributions and the significant qualities of leadership. Each entry concludes with a single recommendation for further reading. While there is a general index, alphabetical and chronological lists of the fifty subjects would be helpful, a minor shortcoming to a well–conceived and well–executed work. Highly recommended for high school, public and university libraries.