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The 100: A Ranking Of The Most Influential Persons In History Paperback – June 1, 2000

4.3 out of 5 stars 141 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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

Hart holds an AB from Cornell, an LLB from New York Law School, an MS in physics from Adelphi University, and a PhD in astronomy from Princeton University. He is senior staff scientist with the Systems and applied Sciences Corp. in Riverdale, Maryland.

Hart holds an AB from Cornell, an LLB from New York Law School, an MS in physics from Adelphi University, and a PhD in astronomy from Princeton University. He is senior staff scientist with the Systems and applied Sciences Corp. in Riverdale, Maryland.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 556 pages
  • Publisher: Citadel; Revised edition (June 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0806513500
  • ISBN-13: 978-0806513508
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 1.6 x 9.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (141 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,540 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
First off, this book is not western european inclined, even though a great deal of influence on the world came from western europe according to the author.
18 are from the Asian area. 4 more from the African and South American areas.
The emphasis of this book is on the individual's influence. I ran this as a contest of sorts on a message board and here's some info to help you decide if the book might be interesting to you:
Here's the criteria so that you don't go off tangent:
(1) Look to how this person influenced the people around him, for good or bad, and also how it impacted later people.; (2) people who impacted their generation but not later ones in any sense got less of a ranking or far less; (3) this guy is pretty fair in giving rankings to non European types; (4) sometimes the person's goals weren't fulfilled but they did something indirectly that later became a big deal; (5) some did only one thing out of many, that may have looked small at the time, that ranked them on the list. (6) the uniqueness of the person is sometimes taken into account, meaning the event is unlikely to have happened without this person; and (7) some people build upon the ideas or methods of others so the first one will sometimes get more credit.
Here's a ranking of the types of professions to help a little:
SCIENTIESTS AND INVENTORS (37) POLITICAL AND MILITARY LEADERS (30) SECULAR PHILOSOPHERS (14) RELIGIOUS LEADERS (11) ARTISTIC AND LITERARY FIGURES (6) EXPLORERS (2)
Highly recommend this book. Even if you don't agree with it, it's thought provoking, unlike some History books, and might even make you come up with your own list.
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Format: Paperback
Anytime you start rating people (or anything else, for that matter), you are going to get some feedback (shall we say) from those who disagree with your rankings. Michael Hart rates those who,in his opinion, qualify as the 100 most influential people in history, not the greatest, or the smartest or the nicest, but the most influential. Impossible to get agreement on, but before you dismiss Hart's rankings, you should read his reasons...Reading over the list of names, it is easy to say, "Oh, that's nonsense!! What is he doing here?" But in these short bios, Hart tells you WHY he thinks this person belongs on the list, and his reasoning is well thought out, thought provoking and difficult to just dismiss. It is an interesting mental excerise to change his listing, then defend YOUR choice as clearly as Hart does, (and doing that is tougher than it sounds, by the way). Hart's book does exactly what a book of this nature should do, it makes us THINK and that fact alone qualifes it as an excellent book and one that should not be missed.....
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Format: Paperback
I first read this book nearly 10 years ago when a friend lent it to me. Since that time, I have referenced his "logic" in ranking the top 10 people (in particular) so many times that I had to buy the book for myself and my family. Many will disagree with Hart's ranking (Christians especially are often appalled that Jesus was ranked third behind Muhammed and Isaac Newton), but the reasons are so compelling that it might actually be a force for change!
Beyond that, this book is an exceptional little collection of mini-biographies of 100 influential people in history, and is a great reference book for families. My teenagers have been reading it and talking about it, and for that alone, it was worth purchasing! (Um...it's an excellent "Bathroom Book!")
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Format: Hardcover
This book is a great listing of the most Influential people in history. I do have some quibbles with who Mr.Hart put on the list, or where he ranked some of them. But then, it isn't my listing. Hart intends the book to be the beginning of discussion, not the end. He has succeded.
I do like how Hart places a great emphesis on science and technology, as I do see these as the driving forces of history. Without scientific advancement, then certain things just wouldn't exist now a days... things that we think have no connection with science. The ability to communicate quickly, travel quickly, etc. Alone makes many of the things we take for granted now possible and in the past poeple wouldn't have dared to dream those things could have occured.
I own both of the major editions of this book. It is too bad that the work is out of print now, as it deservers to stay in print and be updated.
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Format: Paperback
I got a chance to read Micheal Hart's book last year. His criteria of ranking is awesome, as he hasn't favoured anyone because of personal liking or disliking. However, at very few places the reader feels that a favour is being given to the person he is reading about. I think that Mr. Hart's Book is on the whole very excellent and worth reading, but being a science student I would have never placed Einstein at #8. He was the man who gave a lot more contribution than Newton in the field of science. He changed the direction of the world of physics through an angle of 180 degrees. SO he should be placed in the first five people. It's is also being noticed that Jesus Christ was given third place in the ranking. It might be hard to swallow for a lot of christians, but I guess it is the fact. Mohammed(PBUH) really brought a change in a better way. He completed his religion in his own life, and muslims follow their religion in a better way. I would advice u guys to read this book, it's really worth reading. take care Ahmed
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