You can read "350-400" books on the Civil War and end up evangelizing for the reputations of Ulysses S. Grant, William Tecumseh Sherman, Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, Jeb Stuart, Joshua L. Chamberlain, James Longstreet and George Pickett.
You can read that many books and decide, in addition, that these were "ordinary men."
After almost 400 books, you can conclude that storytelling is the key to understanding history and that better storytelling is in order.
In such a case, obviously you are reading pop literature, and just as obviously, it has taken you nowhere. This is a human tragedy. Let it be a lesson to all those people who say, "Thank heaven these kids are getting some kind of history - any kind!"