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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Wahabuddin K said...


Nandu said...

no gandhi?

ATIF WAHAB said...

Gandhi was mentioned in the first ten interesting misses. Reason for no place for him in the 100 was given in the book as follows:

"First, the independence of the British India was inevitable sooner or later and second, Gandhi did not make significant number of followers of his principles and ideals."

Anonymous said...

i am sure that many ppldokt know many of these men....dont you think that
any marie curie...french name(she was born in Poland)is not here...any way it is very interesting groupe...but many men(generic)from sub developed counties...are not here

Michael Edwards said...

Even as I congratulate Mr hart on the excellent biographical work, the exclusion of Nikola Tesla is an egregious oversight, especially since both Edison and Marconi (whom Tesla surpassed) are on this list. I am quite dismayed by this - please look into it.

ballu shahi said...

I congrats Michael hart on this individual Superb idea, for the sake of commenting not arguing:

1. Scientist don't deserve much place on this list Since if Marconi had't invented phone, Surely someone else would have soon. Same with Newton and others "Lucky Humans". This fact is ignored by Mr. Heart.

2. Conquerors from Today's 3rd world countries such as

A) Tariq bin Ziad-- who conquered Spain& Portugal-Muslim ruled 700 Years

B) MOGUL EMPERORs who made india World Super power in 1600s AD

c) HULEGU KHAN-- who finished off Muslim caliphate-No 1 threat to POPE and christian world

D) BATU Khan- Conquered Russia & Easter Europe - 12th Century

E) ATILLA THE HUN- conquered and Ruled MUCH OF EUROPE -including Germany & France,Russia, Holland, Denmark etc) - 4th Century AD

F) HAMURABI - gave first Human Rights charter

To name ONLY FEW above- I think MICHAEL HART haven't studied whole human history before writing the book. anyway good effort on his part but not complete.

Anonymous said...

Hart had Earl of Oxford at #31 rather than "Wm. Shakespeare".

Salim Siyavurahman said...


govind motherao said...

happy to see MUHAMMED (s.a.w) at first position.

Shahbaz Khan said...

Lailaha illallah! Muhammed rasulul lalh!,

Umar bin khatab was legend

Anonymous said...

it is good that mr hert give first place to muhammed

Pumpkin Person said...

Time magazine has been recognizing the most influential people in the world today. Here are the 16 most influential:

Muhammad Sohaib said...

nice work mr hart


I’ve read a lot about this book on the influential people in history but have not read it myself. I was interested to know who was included in the 100, so thank you for posting this here.

Ejaz Mazari said...

If Michael Hart includes great commanders like Alexander the great, Nipolean etc, well how can he ignore Khalid Bin Waleed & Sultan Sallah-u-Deen??

Sam said...

Great list and very good.

I agree that not including Nikola Tesla is a mistake. He invented radio, our whole A/C electrical system, and all the electric motors we use.

mytheen said...

I agreed..

Tesla was important in electrical...

Nejat KÜÇÜKDANACI said...

Cok yanli ve tarafli bir secim olmus. Osmanliyi 6 yabanci ulkenin isgalinden kurtararak Turkiye Cumhuriyetini kuran Mustafa Kemal ATATÜRK'ü dahil etmeyip 1.5 milyon yahudiyi katledip avrupayi akil almaz bir savasa surukleyen hitleri listeye almis. Cok ironik.... :(

Stanley Workman said...

Imagine a City...

Imagine a city where every home had on it's front lawn a piece of sculpture or an art installation.

Imagine a city where each and every business invited artists to exhibit their work to the company's patrons.

Imagine a city where instead of gifting clothing, electronics, chocolate, or cash, a work of art was given, and appreciated.

Imagine a city where each and every home housed and preserved an art collection. Where insecurities over self-interests were dispensed with, and collections reflected those varied tastes.

Imagine a city where glass, pottery, painting, photography. fibers, basketry, and even graffiti were embraced. Where the artists themselves were looked upon as a treasured resource. No matter their perspective.

Imagine a city where any construction project involved multiple artists, in its' execution.

Imagine a city which preserved its' creative heritage and embraced it.

Imagine a city which understood, that capturing a slice of life had merit. But to alter a communities perspective to embrace all thought and belief, strengthened it, not weakened it.

Imagine a city which led the World in cultural munificence which would then reap the reward of becoming a global mecca.

Imagine a city which could step outside of what others were doing could walk the path of its' own making.

Imagine a city where meetings to enact such change, needn't take place. Rather a spontaneous change came from its' citizenry itself.

Imagine a city which artists flocked to; enabling them to create without fear of censorship or derision.

Imagine a city not dependent upon their museums or art schools for their lead in any discussions of artistic merit, but rather the career artists themselves.

I have imagined this city since childhood, as have most of my colleagues. Instead we've swum through muck, hoping such change would miraculously happen without distracting us from our labors. Or moved to the closest metropolis which appeared poised to take the plunge.

Cleveland, like most cities, while not a blank canvas; is one, where the image it sports has faded beyond restoration. The time to paint over it has come. Shiny new unaesthetic buildings, are simply masking the rot.

Marc Breed, Fine Artist

"In the distant future, when America is a mere shadow of itself, who historically, shall be remembered? In sports, an argument can be made for Ruth, Chamberlain, Gretzky, Ali, et al. In Art, there is but one name, Breed."

-Smithsonian Magazine