The Greats of History©

Judging history's greatest people is difficult. We can say with certainty the Gold Medal winner of an Olympic high jump was the best in that competition. Judgment had no effect on the outcome. It was head to head competition with one winner and many losers. Conversely, when someone creates a list purporting to rank the "best" or "greatest" in a given field, the list's credibility is open to question because of the judgment involved.

As the twentieth century came to a close, we were barraged with lists of "The Greatest of the Millennium", of "All Time", the "Last 100 Years", and so on. Some were akin to Trivial Pursuit games created and publicized by those whose job it was to sell books, TV time or magazines. As such, some of these lists must be taken with a grain of salt. Others were quite credible. Five efforts to rank the history's greats are covered below and while some are more credible than others, collectively, they yield a clear pattern - Jews are consistently included in disproportionate numbers among history's greatest.

Charles Murray's Human Accomplishment

One recent effort is quite credible. Published in late 2003, Charles Murray's book, Human Accomplishment: The Pursuit of Excellence in the Arts and Sciences; 800 B.C. to 1950, is the product of more than five years of research and analysis. In his work, Murray used an interesting, if controversial, technique called "historiometry" to measure greatness. The approach literally calculates the space devoted to major figures in 167 authoritative encyclopedias, biographic dictionaries, and other reference works published by leading experts in various fields of endeavor....

Read more in the book!