The 101 Most Influential People Who Never Lived: How Characters of Fiction, Myth, Legends, Television, and Movies Have Shaped Our Society, Changed Our

Allan Lazar, Author, Dan Karlan, Author, Jeremy Salter, Author HarperCollins Publishers $13.99 (317p) ISBN 978-0-06-113221-6
In the opening pages of this entertaining compendium of influential characters, myths and legends, the authors ponder whether the Wright brothers would have built the first airplane without the legendary example of Icarus and Daedalus. Perhaps, the authors muse, the Wright brothers would have built something else altogether. Authors and friends Karlan, a computer programmer, Lazar, a former faculty member at the Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, and Jeremy Salter, an analytical chemist, followed two criteria to determine their admittedly subjective list-""the number of people affected and the depth of impact."" Darth Vader, Charlie Brown and Mr. Whipple did not make the list (""popular"" does not always translate as ""influential,"" explain the authors). However, Dr. Frankenstein's monster, Uncle Tom, G.I. Joe and HAL 9000 did, largely due to their impact on popular culture and how we define ourselves. Of particular note are the book's ""Did You Know"" boxes, which offer figures and trivia.
Reviewed on: 10/01/2006
Release date: 10/01/2006
Genre: Nonfiction
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