Mark Twain, born Samuel Langhorne Clemens Nov. 30, 1835 in the small town of Florida, MO, and raised in Hannibal, became one of the greatest American authors of all time. Known for his sharp wit and pithy commentary on society, politics, and the human condition, his many essays and novels, including the American classic,The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, are a testament to his intelligence and insight.
Procopius was the principal Byzantine historian of the 6th century, writing the Wars (or Histories), the Buildings of Justinian and the now-celebrated (and infamous) Secret History. He is commonly held to be the last major historian of the ancient Western world.
Werner Karl Heisenberg was a German theoretical physicist and one of the key pioneers of quantum mechanics. He is known for the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. Heisenberg was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for 1932 “for the creation of quantum mechanics”. He was a principal scientist in the Nazi German nuclear weapon project during World War II. He was instrumental in planning the first West German nuclear reactor in 1957.
ISAIAH BERLIN — was a Russian-British social and political theorist, philosopher and historian of ideas. He was an essayist, conversationalist, raconteur, and lecturer. In its obituary of the scholar, the Independent stated that “Isaiah Berlin was often described, especially in his old age, by means of superlatives: the world’s greatest talker, the century’s most inspired reader, one of the finest minds of our time […] there is no doubt that he showed in more than one direction the unexpectedly large possibilities open to us at the top end of the range of human potential”.
EDWARD MILIBAND — is a British politician who was Leader of the Labour Party as well as Leader of the Opposition between 2010 and 2015. He has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Doncaster North since 2005 and served in the Cabinet from 2007 to 2010 under Prime Minister Gordon Brown. He and his brother, David Miliband, were the first siblings to sit in the Cabinet simultaneously since Edward and Oliver Stanley in 1938.
CAESARISM — is a form of political rule that emulates the rule of Roman dictator Julius Caesar over the Roman Republic, in that it is led by a charismatic strongman whose rule is based upon a cult of personality, whose rationale is the need to rule by force, establishing a violent social order, and being a regime involving prominence of the military in the government. It has been used by proponents of it, but it has also been commonly used in a pejorative manner.
A so-called “democratic” form of Caesarism has been advocated by theorists like Venezuela’s Laureano Vallenilla Lanz in Cesarismo Democrático (1919).
LAUREANO VALLENILLA LANZ — was a Venezuelan intellectual and sociologist who occupied the presidency of the congress for 20 years during the Gomez regime. Vallenilla Lanz held a number of positions under the dictatorship of Juan Vicente Gómez and was well known as an apologist for his regime. In his best-known work, Cesarismo Democrático (1919; English title: Democratic Caesarism), he justified the caudillo system by stating that due to the character of the Venezuelan people, rule by a dictator was necessary to maintain public order. In his view, this system was democratic in the sense that it was due to the “unconscious suggestion of the majority”.
ALLEN WELSH DULLES — was an American diplomat and lawyer who became the first civilian Director of Central Intelligence and its longest-serving director to date. As head of the Central Intelligence Agency during the early Cold War, he oversaw the 1954 Guatemalan coup d’état, Operation Ajax (the overthrow of Iran’s elected government), the Lockheed U-2 aircraft program and the Bay of Pigs Invasion. Following the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Dulles was one of the members of the Warren Commission. Between his stints of government service, Dulles was a corporate lawyer and partner at Sullivan & Cromwell. His older brother, John Foster Dulles, was the Secretary of State during the Eisenhower Administration.
JOHN FOSTER DULLES — served as U.S. Secretary of State under Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower from 1953 to 1959. He was a significant figure in the early Cold War era, advocating an aggressive stance against Communism throughout the world. He negotiated numerous treaties and alliances that reflected this point of view. He advocated support of the French in their war against the Viet Minh in Indochina but rejected the Geneva Accords that France and the Communists agreed to, and instead supported South Vietnam after the Geneva Conference in 1954.
WILLIAM Joseph (Wild Bill) DONOVAN — was a United States soldier, lawyer, intelligence officer and diplomat. Donovan is best remembered as the wartime head of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), a precursor to the Central Intelligence Agency, during World War II. He is also known as the “Father of American Intelligence” and the “Father of Central Intelligence”.
A decorated veteran of World War I, General Donovan is the only person to have received all four of the United States’ highest awards: The Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Service Cross, the Distinguished Service Medal, and the National Security Medal. He is a recipient of the Silver Star and Purple Heart, as well as decorations from a number of other nations for his service during both World Wars.