Social Network Links
Powered by Squarespace
Search the Riddleblog
"Amillennialism 101" -- Audio and On-Line Resources
« The Canons of Dort, Third/Fourth Head of Doctrine, Article Eight | Main | "As the Sand that Is on the Seashore" -- Judges 7:1-8:3 »

The Twelve Greatest Americans

Apparently, making lists is all the rage these days.

A good friend and colleague recently suggested this list of the twelve greatest Americans (in chronological order). 

It is certainly hard to quibble with his list . . .  But go ahead and quibble anyway!  Who would be on your list?

Jonathan Edwards

George Washington

John Adams

Thomas Jefferson

Abraham Lincoln

Thomas Edison

Theodore Roosevelt

George Marshall

Dwight Eisenhower

Mortimer Adler

Ronald Reagan

Martin Luther King Jr.

Reader Comments (40)

I'd be glad to substitute Meriwether Lewis and William Clark for the last two entries. What those two accomplished changed the way the populace as well as the government viewed the Western part of the country at a pivotal time in our nation's history.
February 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge
Where is John Calvin or Martin Luther? What kinda list would exclude these two great men who help shape history.
February 25, 2009 | Unregistered Commentertiminator

calvin and luther were great men of church history and the european reformation, but they are not Americans.
February 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterD. Mackie
In the political category, Grover Cleveland. Seriously. Basically politically sound (Presbyterian, too), and barely anyone remembers him. What more can you want from a politician?
February 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip Walker
I'm not sure I would include Lincoln or Teddy Roosevelt on the list anymore. I'd always looked up to those guys as heores all my life...but I've been learning over the last year or so how much they laid the groundwork for the bloated and ubiquitous government we have today.

Thanks, guys. <heavy sigh>
February 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGrinningDwarf
Mortimer Adler? Seriously? I wouldn't expect anyone outside of academia to know him...
Great question, though. It's probably best to do a list from each period of American history (I find it tough to compare Jonathan Edwards and George Marshall). But that might get out of control pretty quickly.
Even more technically, Edwards and anyone before ~1770 couldn't be ranked as "the greatest Americans" as they were British subjects (and generally proudly so- Edwards and both the Mathers were King's men through and through).
So here are my suggestions, though there should probably be fewer politicians and more artist/authors (Washington Irving and James Fenimore Cooper should probably be on the list somewhere):

George Washington
John and Samuel Adams
Thomas Jefferson
Alexander Hamilton
James Madison
Andrew Jackson
Abraham Lincoln
William Jennings Bryan
Frank Capra
Douglas MacArthur
D.D. Eisenhower
February 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCoyle
Mortimer Adler!! Most Americans today don't even read books. They would greatly benefit from his "How to read a book."
February 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLloyd








Van Til

February 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGAS
If we take American to mean people who were born in what is now the United States of America, here is my list, for reasons of my own:

Jonathan Edwards
Samuel Adams
George Washington
Alexander Hamilton
Andrew Jackson
Abraham Lincoln
Robert E. Lee
George Washington Carver
George Gershwin
J. Gresham Machen
Jackie Robinson
February 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJohn
Take off Lincoln and Roosevelt and add John Coltrane and Bob Dylan.
February 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDusty
I would just like to comment that there are waaaay too many politicians on this list.
February 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChris Lee
The WHI gang of course! :)
February 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSjB
Jonathan Edwards
The Adams Brothers
Ben Franklin
T. Jefferson
George Washington
Ronald Reagan
Bob Dylan
Clint Eastwood
MLK, Jr. (not for his politics, but for his influence)
Chief Joseph
February 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMatt Holst
I think we are all forgetting the most important figure to ever pretend to save this nation, I mean how much does our country owe to Jack Bauer. He has given everything for this country. His two loves, a daughter, countless friends. We are forever indebted to him and his fictional services to our great nation.
February 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMerritt
If America had no Corps of Marines there would be no America. Chesty Puller is the greatest Marine who ever lived. Therefore Chesty has to be on of the top 12 Americans of all time. :)
I'll go ahead and throw Patrick Henry in there. If he never opposed the Stamp Act of 1765 so eloquently revolutionary feeling may not have reached such a high pitch. Furthermore, it was his "Give Me Liberty or Give me Death" speech that galvanized the Virginia delegations will to go to war against England. No Virginia, no declaration of independence. Jefferson called him the trumpet of the revolution.
February 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJames
I agree with Merritt
February 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Y
Please put Pastor Kim on the list!!!
February 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLloyd
Merritt has hit something we can all agree on- Jack Bauer for president!
February 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCoyle
In all seriousness, I'm a little curious as to why Edwards keeps making the list. No doubt he's the most brilliant theologian/philosopher in the history of the continent, and certainly worthwhile (I'm doing my dissertation on him right now), but why does he make the "great Americans" list? What did he do as an American to merit the mention?
And Aaron Burr doesn't count.
February 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCoyle

I agree with you too- Jack Bauer for President. I loved the scene this past week when that woman slapped him in the face three times and asked him does he feel anything ever. There was more involved in the scene and that was great drama. Ethical dilemma's that really cannot be solved (is the whole more important than the one) and both positions having their validity. I am sure those of you who saw it will agree with me. It was deeply moving.
February 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Yeazel

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.