Thursday, September 22, 2011

The 100, Michael H Hart

"The 100" is perhaps one of the greatest books on the analysis of history ever written. The author of the book Dr. Michael H. Hart is a man of amazing erudition in diverse fields and domains of study and research. He holds an A.B. from Cornell University, an L.L.B. from New York Law School, an MS is Physics from Adelphi University and a Ph.D. in astronomy from Princeton University. He has worked at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland; the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado and Hales Observatories in Pasadena, California. He is currently a senior staff scientist with the Systems and Applies Sciences Corporation in Riverdale, Maryland and a member of American Astronomical Society and its Division of Planetary Science. Hart is coeditor of Extraterrestrials: Where Are They? and has written many technical articles for may major publications. He lives in Annandale, Virginia.
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 rank them according to their importance.
Needless to say that the critics were wrong, thousands of copies of the book have sold. As Hart emphasizes in the book again and again that the yardstick for ranking the people in his book is their influence not their greatness, the people who swayed the destinies of millions of human beings, determined the rise and fall of civilizations and the course of history.

With incisive biographies, Hart describes their careers and contributions. Explaining his rating, he presents a new perspective on history, gathering together the vital facts about the world’s greatest religious, spiritual and political leaders, inventors, writers, philosophers, explorers, artists and innovators.
Hart’s selection may surprise some and questioned by others. 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 writing is both informative and entertaining.


In this blog I have linked each historical figure ranked in the book to wikipedia. But to get the complete understanding and know the critical reasons for ranking certain people above or below others, it is highly recommended to go through the book.
Michael Hart Gives a very broad view and clear understanding of human history. He also provides us with an in depth analysis of these people's impact on humanity with very powerful arguments in support of his claims.

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