The four volumes in this set explore the interplay between important historical figures and various political, economic and social circumstances, as well as how the leaders’ efforts and exploits connect to the modern world. The entries seek to answer such questions as, “To what extent does one person influence or determine the course of events in a country, a region, or the world?” while also looking at the characteristics that might enable influential people to affect important issues of nations. Organized alphabetically and by a chronology that reflects the national standards for world history for middle and high school, these volumes allow for an examination of social, political, military, religious, artistic and scientific leaders. Each volume opens with a table of contents for that volume, followed by a list of the photos and maps included in that volume and an introduction by the editor, including a description of the selected time period. Entries follow a consistent format; sections include “Early Life,” “Growing Influence” and “Lasting Legacy.” Volume One, The Ancient World, presents figures such as Alexander the Great, Attila the Hun, Buddha, Confucius, Euclid, Jesus, Quetzalcoatl and Socrates. The second volume examines leaders of the medieval world, including Charlemagne, Genghis Khan, Henry VIII, Muhammad, Saladin and Xuanzang. Volume Three, The Early Modern World, offers sketches of Columbus, Copernicus, Elizabeth I, Leonardo da Vinci, Martin Luther, Isaac Newton and Petrarch. The final volume, The Modern World, features biographies of figures such as Simon Bolivar, Fidel Castro, Winston Churchill, Marie Curie, Albert Einstein, Mohandas Gandhi, Adolf Hitler, Mao Zedong, Vladimir Lenin and Golda Meir, among others. Entries, written in an accessible style, include key dates and other people involved, in addition to suggestions for further reading; many offer selected “Words From Their Time,” and comments on cultural connections. Glossary terms are highlighted for easy reference. Each volume includes a bibliography for further reading, a glossary of key terms and an index. The attractive graphics, color photos and sidebars will add to young readers’ enjoyment of this text. Highly recommended for school and public libraries for pleasure reading or research in grades 6 through 12.