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Review: 1,000 Years, 1,000 People...

Forget drab, dull and serious (read: academic). This 300-odd page tome veers away from the usual encyclopedic format by injecting wit and humour into each of it’s 1000 entries, writes Girija Duggal.

books Updated: Dec 26, 2008 11:09 IST
Girija Duggal

Title:1,000 Years, 1,000 People: Ranking the Men and Women Who Shaped the Millennium
Authors: Agnes Hooper Gottlieb, Henry Gottlieb, Barbara Bowers, Brent Bowers
Publisher: Flywell Publications
Price: Rs 795

Forget drab, dull and serious (read: academic). This 300-odd page tome veers away from the usual encyclopedic format by injecting wit and humour into each of it’s 1000 entries.

The book is a who’s who of the most path-breaking and influential men and women — artists, politicians, scientists, philosophers, evil and great rulers alike — of the millennium and it goes a step further by rating them according to five criteria.

Each entry explains the authors’ reasons for selection and rating that person. So Johannes Gutenberg is chosen because the printing press “harnessed the power of ideas on the world”, and Andy Warhol because “we (the authors) just loved his prediction, “in the future everybody will be world famous for fifteen minutes”. In rating the thousand (in)famous people, the authors provide fodder for interesting debates.