Re “The 100 Most Influential People in the World” [May 5–12]: I must confess that this volume has been among the most refreshing I have read of late. Selecting the 100 most influential people could never have been easy. Choices are based on arguable and sometimes challenging premises. But this particular volume was scholarly preceded by Nancy Gibbs’ editorial, which shielded your team from possible allegations of questionable biases and nuances. TIME has evolved very well in deciding on what criteria to use for selecting the world’s most influential people. Bravo!
Mmabatho, South Africa
I enjoyed your issue a lot but have to express my confusion about the picture on the cover. While TIME is promoting women’s rights and their continuously evolving role in society quite authentically throughout the issue, I am wondering whether there is some deeper sense of irony that I am failing to grasp behind portraying Beyoncé half-naked, in almost Playboy-style posture.
Yet again we have a U.S.-centric view of the world. Undoubtedly there are many on your list who are major influences for good or bad on the global stage, but there are too many whose influence is restricted to within the U.S.; I fail to see how an American football player is a “world influencer.” In the future, you should differentiate between U.S. and global influencers. The list does nothing for TIME’s global standing.
Reading write-ups about the 100 most influential people by their admirers on the whole was interesting, informative and sometimes uplifting, until the strange and crass contribution by Madeleine Albright, which deviated from the spirit of the issue by demonizing. While President Vladimir Putin has his detractors, he is very popular in Russia, and it would have been more interesting to hear another viewpoint rather than the now expected political rhetoric.
In your latest TIME 100 issue, you once again celebrate the merits of Shinzo Abe, this time through the economic lens of a former U.S. Treasury Secretary. No doubt Abenomics may have helped his nation overcome the last crisis, but the other aspects of his political attitude fearfully remind us of relentless Japanese mishandling of history: “Japan über alles,” regardless of due repentance that Japan should show to its Asian neighbors.
St.-Rémy Lès Chevreuse, France
Including Thuli Madonsela on the list is nothing short of a vote of confidence in the future of South Africa. Her sterling work as the public protector deserves the admiration and gratitude of all right-minded people, among whom unfortunately the country’s President Jacob Zuma and his little band of sycophants and oligarchs are not included.
As someone who has dedicated his life to the design of the built environment, I am disappointed that while there are many entertainment-industry professionals on your list of influential people, there is not a single architect. I hope that in the future, TIME will consider recognizing at least one of the many influential design professionals who have in recent years contributed so much to the improvement of the built environment for the long-term benefit of humanity.
David Mizan Hashim,
No Kate Pickett? no Richard Wilkinson? No Joseph Stiglitz? No Paul Krugman? No Thomas Piketty? No academics at all, dissenters or otherwise? Fifty years from now, if someone makes a list of today’s most influential people, I bet it will include a fair number of academics. Perhaps none of the ones I mentioned, but a fair number of them. And fewer pop stars.
José Luiz Sarmento Ferreira,
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