During the twentieth century, Americans have gone to war, abolished child labor, given women the right to vote, and created civil rights legislation. They have wept from the sermons of Martin Luther King Jr., cheered the home runs of Jackie Robinson, and stood amazed as women like Betty Ford and Gloria Steinem gained milestones for women's rights. The human spirit soared as men walked on the moon, created new technology, and formulated peace treaties. These events-and the leaders that shaped them-have molded who we are as a nation and challenged how we, as Americans, think.
This rich collection of photographs and essays celebrates the voices of the American character and the words and philosophies of more than fifty of the nation's greatest heroes. From Amelia Earhart and John F. Kennedy to Hillary Clinton and Albert Einstein, famous and not-so-famous leaders, artists, entertainers, titans, scientists, thinkers, and mavericks, speak their minds as the voices of a century. Portraits from renowned photographers Carl Van Vechten, Michael Callopy, Yousuf Karsh, and others illuminate their subjects and capture the rich texture of their extraordinary lives.