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   The Atlantic Unveils 100 Most Influential Americans List

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11/22/2006 10:20 am

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Opinion

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Entered 11/22/2006, Updated 11/22/2006

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WASHINGTON, Nov. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Which 100 Americans have had the most influence on our country? That is the question recently tackled by The Atlantic within its December issue. Beginning today, The Atlantic's 100 Most Influential Americans List is available on its website, http://www.theatlantic.com. In its 150th year of publishing, the country's oldest continuously published magazine challenged 10 award winning historians and authors to determine who have been the 100 most influential figures in American history. Following the publication of The Atlantic's 100 Most Influential Americans List, readers can submit their own lists of Influentials at http://www.theatlantic.com, and can cast their votes for figures who were left off the List but should not have been. Results will be published in the January-February issue of The Atlantic. Written and compiled by associate editor Ross Douthat, The Atlantic's 100 Most Influential Americans List engaged 10 panelists to consider influence based on a person's impact, for good or ill, both on his or her own era and on the way we live now. The balloting was averaged and weighted to emphasize consensus -- and candidates received extra points if they appeared on multiple ballots. "Our goal in compiling the Atlantic's 100 Most Influential Americans List wasn't to end a debate about historical influence, but to start one," says James Bennet, editor of The Atlantic. "We're not planning to engrave this list on a marble wall somewhere. Instead, we hope it will provoke discussion and even some serious disagreement about who made America and how. Why is Walt Disney ranked ahead of Elizabeth Cady Stanton? How did Woodrow Wilson make the top 10 but not Ronald Reagan? How can Bill Gates be ahead of Elvis Presley, or Presley ahead of Lewis and Clark, or Lewis and Clark ahead of Ralph Nader, or Nader ahead of Richard Nixon? The debates over the rankings in our offices have been fascinating and, at times, feisty. We hope other peop


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