Lovely Canadians

The Greatest Americans

John Hawkins posts about the Discovery Channel listing of the 100 greatest Americans. Quite a few of their choices are, shall we say, dim. He goes on to provide his own list of the 20 greatest Americans of all-time.

Here's my list of the 20 greatest Americans in simple alphabetical order:

Andrew Carnegie
Frederick Douglass
Thomas A. Edison
Albert Einstein
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Benjamin Franklin
Milton Friedman
Bill Gates
Ulysses S. Grant
Thomas Jefferson
Martin Luther King
Abraham Lincoln
James Madison
George S. Patton
Ronald W. Reagan
John D. Rockefeller
Franklin D. Roosevelt
William T. Sherman
Harry S. Truman
George Washington

Hunh, it is surprising to see that almost half the list is former US presidents. Though, only four of the nine, namely Abe, FDR, Truman, and Reagan get a spot for their accomplishments during their respective presidencies. The other five achieved greatness before they were voted in as C-in-C.



My list of top 100 is here. I'm going to try to run my own poll. Eighteen of your top 20 made my top 100 (all but Friedman and Gates). I'm still taking comments and suggestions on my top 100 before I open up voting, so swing by and tell me what you think.

Joseph Pedulla

Mark Twain practically made America all by himself. The fact that he is nowhere represented on the list is in itself a sign of our bad times. He was called, after all, "the Lincoln of our literature." He said of himself, "I am the American." And he was right. Few Americans had ever had the almost covetous love for this country Twain had; few have had the temerity to express such unapologetic indifference to the purportedly great things of Europe, before which we were expected to bow and scrape indefinitely; few have held up for European inspection the glories of our own landscape and said, "What do you mean, you haven't seen it? What's the matter with you?" with the same seriousness of purpose the Frenchman had when asking the same question of Americans who had not yet see the Eiffel Tower or the Arc de Triomphe. We will probably never see an American like him again, an American who does not blush when he says, "Everything you need, you've got right here!" Or "I feel sorry for you if you haven't seen Old Faithful or the Grand Canyon." With modern Americans not daring to protect the sovereignty of America without the permission of the effete Frenchman, or that of the morally weary German, we are in sore need of "the American." Same on us that we don't see our mistake. Twain certainly would have.

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