History is Not Boring discussion

favorite historical figure

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message 1: by Ian Mullet (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:08PM) (new)

Ian Mullet who's your favorite historical figure? mine is hannibal. no doubt.

message 2: by Anthony, Trivial Pursuit Master (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:17PM) (new)

Anthony (bluekabuki) | 43 comments Mod
Lenin? Arguably the most influential person of the last century.

message 3: by Jim (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:17PM) (new)

Jim most important in US history may be George Washinton----kept army going and declined to run for president third time which would have increased chances that form of government would be closer to monarchy/aristocracy than republican.

message 4: by Mike (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:22PM) (new)

Mike | 9 comments Teddy Roosevelt. To me, he personified the American ideals of optimism, progressiveness, fairness, and boldness. He was also remarkably well-read, which I think is something all of us here can appreciate! He was not without his faults, however. Then again, who is?

message 5: by Grumpus (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:53PM) (new)

Grumpus | 7 comments As far as U.S. history, I would vote for Alexander Hamilton. The man was a genius, serving as Washington’s aide-de-camp and single-handedly got America’s financial system off the ground. The whole time he was hounded by Thomas Jefferson and his lackey, James Madison. They did everything in their power to obstruct everything Hamilton wanted to accomplish. Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow is one of the best biographies I’ve ever read and recommend it highly.

message 6: by Chelsea (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:18PM) (new)

Chelsea | 1 comments I would have to say that my favorite historical figure is Abraham Lincoln. Leonardo da Vinci is a close second, but Lincoln has so many twists to him. I always wonder what he would have done if he hadn't been murdered...

message 7: by Fred (new)

Fred   Provoncha (unclefred) | 15 comments Mad Anthony Wayne, the only Revolutionary General who was born to fight...fvp

message 8: by Sera (new)

Sera Ben Franklin - a true Renaissance man. He did so many things from establishing the first post office and the fire department, to gaining support from the French during the American Revolution, to playing a behind the scenes role in birth of America. Yet, Franklin was flawed in many ways - he wasn't a very good father and he some ego issues, but overall, he was a brilliant, clever and very funny man.

Don (The Book Guy) (donthelibrarian) John Adams. I must admit my interest was started by seeing the movie version of 1776 in 1976 and wanting to know more. While flawed, I find him greatly underappreciated for his role in the early part of our country's founding.

message 10: by Sara W (new)

Sara W (sarawesq) | 9 comments Anne Boleyn. Henry VIII broke from Rome for her, and she was the mother of Elizabeth I. Her story is fascinating, and I can't read enough about her. She's by far my favorite historical figure.

I don't really read much american history anymore, so I can't pick a favorite figure for that. When I read about american history, it's usually social history (like the lives of people in the Dust Bowl area in the 1930s) and less on individual figures.

message 11: by Matt (new)

Matt | 6 comments George Washington (for the same reasons as the other poster...) His farewell address brings tears to my eyes 223 years after he made it.

Isaac Newton. Inventing Calculus as a side project to aid his research in optics; wow.

message 12: by Dina (new)

Dina JFK. I feel he was treading on turbulent waters to make our country and others a better place to live. Obviously there were a lot of people who didn't agree with his thoughts and ideas and accomplishments. I feel he tried to add something positive to every walk of life and culture.

message 13: by Jillian (new)

Jillian (mother_of_dinosaurs) I have many favorite historical figures. But the two I admire the most are Abraham Lincoln & Robert F. Kennedy.

message 14: by Holly (new)

Holly | 5 comments I am fascinated by Mata Hari, also Harriet Tubman, and Eleanor Roosevelt. In general, complex women who led full and rich lives, either selfishly or selflessly.

message 15: by Jillian (new)

Jillian (mother_of_dinosaurs) I agree Mata Hari is very fascinating. I've watched a few biographies on her. She had an amazing life and still has us wondering till this day.

message 16: by George (new)

George | 179 comments Well, if it doesn't have to be someone I like and admire, but simply find fascinating, I'll put my two cents on Hong Xiuquan, the man who went into a deep coma in the middle of the 195h after failing to pass the Imperial Civil Service exam, and woke up to the realization that he was the Second Son of God, Jesus' Younger Brother. Founded his own religion, tried to forge alliances with his fellow Christian Euorpeans and led the largest civil war in world history, the Taiping rebellion. But the fact that I find him interesting doesn't mean I'd want to share a cup of tea with him.

Otherwise, I'd choose Captain Sir Richard Burton, 19th century soldier, explorer, and possibly the greatest linguist of his time. Made a bit of a mess trying to find the source of the Nile, but hey, nobody's perfect. Him, I like.

message 17: by Manuel (new)

Manuel | 1439 comments this list changes all the time for me

My fav American figure is Eleanor Roosevelt followed closely by her husband FDR

My favorite non American is Ataturk.
He took a country rooted deeply in the past and he took it kicking and screaming into the twentieth century. How many people can transform an entire country within their own life span?

message 18: by Edmund (new)

Edmund Favourite Brits

Robert Falcon Scott
Sir John Hawkwood

For Scott read 'The Last Great Quest' by Max Jones and for Hawkwood 'The Condottiere', by Geoffrey Trease.

If interested can recommended other books about them

message 19: by Marian (new)

Marian (gramma) | 98 comments Among the Founding Fathers, I would suggest George Mason of Virginia. While his fellow Virginians, George Washington & Thomas Jefferson were the"Stars" of the show, Mason and James Madison spent most of the time hammering out compromise after compromise so that all the variety of colonies - from New englands's Puritans to the "gentlemen who don't dirty their hands" planters of the South could establish a government that would both serve and hold together enough to prevent any European power - & England, France &Spain all had their eyes on the Americas - from taking advantage of their new
venture into representative government.
I just finished reading "The summer of 1787" which really details all that happened in the putting together of our constitution, including the ability to amend it as the occasion arose. There are many unsung heroes in our history, it is interesting to read & find out more about them.

message 20: by Duntay (new)

Duntay I'm most interested in the people whose names we will never know, the everyday people who just lived their lived and then disappeared, but perhaps left behind a small clue to their existence.

At work we are preparing a Roman amphora to go on display - it is not very pretty, thick, rough pottery. It has the fingerprints of who ever made it left in the clay. Huge fingerprints! Amphoras are the packing crates of the Roman world, this one was probably made in Spain and carried wine or olive oil to a legionary base in Scotland 1,900 years ago. Who was this sausage-fingered man? I assume it was a man! Was he a slave? Who ever he was I find him far more interesting than a king or an emperor.

message 21: by Terence (new)

Terence (spocksbro) | 35 comments While I understand Duntay's point of view, I'm afraid our "sausage-fingered potter" will remain forever unknown, alas, so we're stuck (for better or for worse) with the people who made an impression (also for better or for worse).

And here's eleven historical figures who, if I don't necessarily "like," I admire for some reason:

1. Heraclitus, pre-Socratic philosopher who believed "change" was central to the universe

2. Augustus Caesar
3. Vespasian
4. Septimius Severus
5. Aurelian
- this is the roster of my favorite Roman emperors

6. Henry II Plantagenet/Eleanor of Aquitaine

7. Peter Abelard, Medieval philosopher & castrato for love

8. Elizabeth I of England

9. Abraham Lincoln

10. Anton Chekhov

11. Taizong (Li Shimin), 2nd Tang Dynasty emperor

message 22: by Andy (new)

Andy My favorite historical figure without a doubt is Abe Lincoln. He faced the nations greatest challenge and satyed the course during an unpopular war while personally facing unimaginable family tradedy.

message 23: by Boreal Elizabeth (new)

Boreal Elizabeth | 145 comments martin luther king jr.

message 24: by Stef (new)

Stef (buch_ratte) | 12 comments Since I am unable to name just one, I list them all ( in no specific order)

- Johannes Gutenberg
- Leonardo da Vinci
- Abraham Lincoln
- Mohandas Gandhi
- Nelson Mandela
- Catherine the Great
- Maria Stuart
- Emilia Earhard
- Anne Frank
- and the early settlers in America and Australia

message 25: by James (new)

James Lincoln is first for me, not only because he was a visionary and, to hold true to what he knew was right, incredibly strong, but because he had to overcome his burdens of deep depression and the grief of his son's death while he was saving the country.
Eleanor Roosevelt is next for me, for her courage, compassion, and conscience.
And my third choice is George Marshall, both for his role in winning World War II as the senior leader of the U.S. Army, and for his wisdom as Secretary of State after the war in creating the Marshall Plan to rebuild the devastated parts of the world.

message 26: by Shirley (new)

Shirley (discipleshirley) | 113 comments Mine is Jesus, wether you believe He is the Son of God or not his teachings turned the world upside down.

message 27: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) Mark Twain is probably my favorite historical figure. He was quite a character & managed to make a decent living while enjoying life. He also managed to impart some common sense to the world in an enjoyable way. He's well remembered.

To me, he epitomizes what a man should do with his life - live it well, have some fun & leave the world a little better for his presence.

message 28: by Arminius (new)

Arminius George Washington.
Without Washington there is no America. Without America there is no democracy. Without democracy there is no freedom. Without freedom there is no wealth.

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