A Theory of Great Men is the humorous, fast-paced story of an irreverent, flawed man who has a talent for accumulating both proteges and enemies. George Cavaliere, a veteran high school history teacher, has many attributes of a brilliant educator. He's a vibrant classroom performance artist, his colleagues respect his knowledge of history, and he's popular with many students. Cavaliere is at his best when he's debunking the so-called "Great Man" theory of history, which maintains that the actions of major historical figures dominate the course of human events. Not so, Cavaliere insists. People's lives are shaped by sweeping forces beyond their control, and often their understanding. And yet his own life seems to show the opposite. Cavaliere's impatience with political correctness and his restless philandering lead to the unraveling of his career and his marriage. A part-time job coaching an underdog basketball team helps Cavaliere confront his own shortcomings and begin to see that, although he is anything but a great man, he is, nevertheless, the master of his own fate.