Thursday, December 30, 2010

"Great Men Are Almost Always Bad Men"

The oft-ignored coda to Lord Acton's famous "power corrupts" dictum comes to mind with Jeff Taylor's article on the worst presidents, in which he notes that "it’s the Lincolns and FDRs who rank at the top while relatively peaceful and socially-well-adjusted men are at the bottom" — Bottom of the Barrel.

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Blogger Tiago said...

As a Brazilian, I would submit the memory of our late Emperor Pedro II as a counterexample, although he was probably only seen as great due to his long reign and the chaos of the Regency that preceded him.

I guess many of the early American presidents would fit, as well, although I am not familiar enough with their histories to say one way or another...

4:50 AM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

From what I've read of your Emperor, I would agree.

9:21 AM  
Blogger love the girls said...

"Woodrow Wilson . . . Opponent of woman suffrage."

Even the really bad guys have their good points.

12:54 PM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

And even progressive heroines Emma Goldman and Mother Jones agreed on this point!

7:22 PM  

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