Atlantic Monthly magazine released its list of the 100 most influential Americans last week as part of its 150 years in publication. Ten notable historians were asked for their lists and the information was compiled to to make the final list. President Abraham Lincoln was named the #1 most influential American.The choices included 17 presidents. The first seven on the list were named by all 10 panelists.
And over 30 were writers...let's hear it for the power of the written word (and a nod to the libraries that continue to "house" these valuables in whatever form is necessary or relevant!)
The authors ranged from Melville at spot 100 up to Mark Twain in the 16th spot. In between, you will see the likes of Hemingway, Rachel Carson, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Thoreau, James Fenimore Cooper, Steinbeck and Faulkner. Almost one-third of this impressive list of writers influenced the growth and development of this fine place we call home. Now that is something to think about when you remember ALL of the other impressive contributions made in government, science, technology, and education!
Thirty-one of the elite group contributed their thoughts to the magazine throughout the years. Go here see who made literary contributions.
And of course, as any list of this type will do, let the debates begin on who else should have been here or should not have been, as well as the jockeying for position in the list. Is Abe your choice for #1? At this moment, I think I would have to say he is for me. But if you want to challenge the choices with ones of your own, you can submit your choices here.
I see lots of opportunities for writing prompts in class, exercises in pros and cons, and good conversations using supportive details!