The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History
The cover of the 1992 edition.
|Author||Michael H. Hart|
|Series||1st Edition (1978)
2nd Edition (1992)
|Published||1978 (Hart Publishing company)|
The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History is a 1978 book by Michael H. Hart, reprinted in 1992 with revisions. It is a ranking of the 100 people who, according to Hart, most influenced human history.
The first person on Hart's list is the Prophet of Islam Muhammad, a selection that generated some controversy. Hart asserted that Muhammad was "supremely successful" in both the religious and secular realms. He also believed that Muhammad's role in the development of Islam was far more influential than Jesus' collaboration in the development of Christianity. He attributes the development of Christianity to St. Paul, who played a pivotal role in its dissemination.
The 1992 revisions included the demotion of figures associated with Communism, such as Vladimir Lenin and Mao Zedong, and the introduction of Mikhail Gorbachev. Hart took sides in the Shakespearean authorship issue and substituted Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford for William Shakespeare. Hart also substituted Niels Bohr and Henri Becquerel with Ernest Rutherford, thus correcting an error in the first edition. Henry Ford was also promoted from the "Honorary Mentions" list, replacing Pablo Picasso. Finally, some of the rankings were re-ordered, although no one listed in the top ten changed position.
Hart wrote another book in 1999, entitled A View from the Year 3000, voiced in the perspective of a person from that future year and ranking the most influential people in history. Roughly half of those entries are fictional people from 2000–3000, but the remainder are actual people. These were taken mostly from the 1992 edition, with some re-ranking of order.
Hart's work shows both similarities and differences in thrust from Skiena and Ward's 2013 book Who's Bigger: Where Historical Figures Really Rank. Hart and Skiena & Ward both put two religious figures in the top three (Hart has Mohammed first, Jesus third; Skiena & Ward the converse), but second place in Hart's ranking goes to a scientist (Isaac Newton) while Skiena & Ward place a soldier (Napoleon) second. And in fact Hart tends to favor people of ideas and invention (Albert Einstein, Cai Lun, Buddha, Paul of Tarsus, Johannes Gutenberg, and Confucius join Newton in his top ten) while Skiena & Ward tend somewhat more toward people who command armies (George Washington, Adolf Hitler, Abraham Lincoln, and Alexander the Great join Napoleon in their top ten, although they also rank Aristotle and Shakespeare highly).
The related studies of mathematical and statistical ranking of historical figures of humanity based on Wikipedia database in various language editions are described at the article Top 100 historical figures.
- Michael H. Hart The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History. first published in 1978, reprinted with minor revisions 1992. ISBN 978-0-8065-1068-2
- The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History
- Alphonse Dougan, "Understanding Prophet Muhammad Beyond the Stereotypes", The Fountain, Issue 46 (April-June 2004).
- Michael H. Hart. A view from the year 3000: a ranking of the 100 most influential persons of all time; first published in 1999
- Cass Sunstein (December 3, 2013). "Statistically, Who's the Greatest Person in History? Why quants can't measure historic significance". The New Republic. Retrieved December 4, 2013.