Gr 5-8-Each book opens with an introductory chapter that places the philosopher within the context of the world in which he lived. The authors then combine biographical information with a discussion of how the subject's education and experiences shaped his thoughts and ideas. The authors explain how the work of other thinkers influenced each man's theories and philosophy, and examine how his ideas were received by his contemporaries and society. Each volume concludes with a discussion of his legacy. The authors are admiring of their subjects. Average-quality photos and illustrations, some of which are only peripherally related to the biographee, supplement the texts. Each book includes an extensive list of books, articles, and Web sites. Although these men were vastly influential to American thought and society, these biographies are somewhat dry. Also, the discussions of complex philosophical concepts and the people who originated them are superficial and do not provide enough background or explanation to help readers understand them. While these titles do provide more report information than the profiles found in most collective biographies, they will not draw general readers, making them supplemental purchases.-Mary Mueller, Rolla Junior High School, MO Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.