June 29, 1981 12:00 PM

by Irving, Amy and Sylvia Wallace and David Wallechinsky

These brief sketches of 205 people are divided into sections such as “His Fame,” “Love Life,” “Quirks” and “His Thoughts.” For instance, the authors declare that “legend attributes many extramarital affairs to Mozart, but most stories seem to be mere gossip.” And “Sometime during the early 1960s, [Howard] Hughes’s sex life ended when his overwhelming fear of germs precluded physical contact with another person.” Walt Disney, it is revealed, was happily married, worked at night and had two daughters. This is intimate? Some consumer protection agency ought to get on this case. The Wallace book machine, which used some 70 assistants on this project, has produced a vulgar cheat. (Delacorte Press, $14.95)

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