- Paperback: 556 pages
- Publisher: Citadel; Revised edition (June 1, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780806513508
- ISBN-13: 978-0806513508
- ASIN: 0806513500
- Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 1.7 x 9.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 145 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,723 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The 100: A Ranking Of The Most Influential Persons In History Paperback – June 1, 2000
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From the Back Cover
In 1978, when Michael Hart's controversial book The 100 was first published, critics objected that Hart had the nerve not only to select who he thought were the most influential people in history, but also to rank them according to their importance. Needless to say, the critics were wrong, and to date over 60,000 copies of the book have sold. Hart believed that in the intervening years the influence of some of his original selections had grown or lessened and that new names loomed large on the world stage. Thus, the publication of this revised and updated edition of The 100. As before, Hart's yardstick is influence: not the greatest people, but the most influential, the people who swayed the destinies of millions of human beings, determined the rise and fall of civilizations, changed the course of history. With incisive biographies, Hart describes their careers and contributions. Explaining his ratings, he presents a new perspective on history, gathering together the vital facts about the world's greatest religious and political leaders, inventors, writers, philosophers, explorers, artists, and innovators - from Asoka to Zoroaster. Most of the biographies are accompanied by photographs or sketches. Hart's selections may be surprising to some. Neither Jesus nor Marx, but Muhammad, is designated as the most influential person in human history. The writer's arguments may challenge and perhaps convince readers, but whether or not they agree with him, his manner of ranking is both informative and entertaining. The 100, revised and updated, is truly a monumental work. It promises to be just as controversial, just as thought-provoking, and just as successful as its predecessor - a perfectaddition to any history or philosophy reference section.
About the Author
Michael H. Hart is an American author and astrophysicist. His first and most famous book, The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History, was published in 1978 and has sold more than half a million copies in 15 languages.
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Some people really stands out in terms of achievements such as Louis Pasteur, and you'll wonder why men like Abraham Lincoln or Winston Churchill have been left out.
The fun really is to mentally argue with the author, which I must admit is what makes the effort of going through the book valuable. I'm not giving 5 stars to the book mainly because some bios where rather stark or too technical for me, even if Hart made a nice effort to render it all in comprehensible form.
This book should be read by all humans, regardless of their race, religion, geographic location, culture, etc. It should be required reading for all students, because it will teach them what many people don't know or never learn.
These authors looked at people with honesty, and without prejudice. They looked at how these people affected all aspects of human development; including law and order, finance, history, philosophy, war, social behavior, society, justice, equality, welfare, ethics, and many other areas. They documented how the selected people affected the lives of others not only in their life time, but for all times to come. Their analysis also included scientific achievements, but it was not the ONLY factor, as many others writers have done in their books.
Great Job! You should have received a Nobel Price for this!!! You have my vote!!!
The book is entirely evaluative. It consists of very short chapters, each about one of these hundred figures. Each chapter discusses the person's life, and why Hart has ranked him or her as more or less important than the others. The criteria he seems to use are:
* How greatly did this person influence the world, especially our everyday lives?
* Would progress have happened without this person? When or how would it have been likely to happen without this person's accomplishment?
* Did this person do it alone, or with the help of others?
Hart has an amazing overview of world history, and his perspective is often different from the norm, or certainly from what is presented in textbooks. Each person I read about, I've read about elsewhere; but Hart consistently pulls together the information in a way that makes it finally make sense to me. He dispels many common myths about world history along the way.
I wish Michael Hart would write another book about his second 100 most influential people!!
The rankings are ridiculous any-which-way you cut it. Its almost hopeless to 'rank' people in such a fashion. There are few metrics which can be applied, there are no championships, no rings. And history is a funny thing.
The 'thing' about this book is the collective group of people and the perspective Hart presents. Hart doesn't cut people out if they are controversial (Adolf Hitler for example), nor does he give them more 'influence' than they deserve. Each account is as complete as neccesary and well thought out.
Some interesting misses and some possible mistakes but a great book to have long conversations over. -Ali