American history professor Henry Steele Commager (1902 – 1998) read this article that named the most powerful men in Cold War Washington - he then began to compose a list of his own, a list that he felt was far more permanent in nature. Commager wrote the names of the most influential thinkers of the past 100 years, leaders and writers who he credited for having "supplied us with our symbols, our values, our ideas and ideals".
Many names are predictable (Mark Twain, Abe Lincoln, FDR) while others make you scratch your head and wonder what he was thinking (Sigmund Freud, Karl Marx, Pope Pius IX). Happily, he provided a thumbnail defense for all the names listed.
Is it just me, or do you also feel that its time to remove the names of Stephen Foster
and William McGuffey
from the list?