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Robin W. Winks

May 2024
1min read

Randolph W. Townsend, Jr. Professor of History, Yale University

Most overrated:

Nearly any of the Presidents (a group by whom we tend to organize our textbooks, as though their four years somehow defined time for us) who actually did virtually nothing. Even to discuss Chester Arthur or Millard Fillmore is to overrate them.

Most underrated:

The inventors of machines that truly change the way we live, inventors who nonetheless often are missing from any standard text: people like Howard Aiken and team, inventors of the computer, or William Shockley and others, responsible for the transistor.

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