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great man theory

great man theory in Culture

great man theory definition

An approach to history associated with the nineteenth-century Scottish historian Thomas Carlyle, who declared, “The history of the world is but the biography of great men.” Carlyle argued that heroes shape history through the vision of their intellect, the beauty of their art, the prowess of their leadership, and, most important, their divine inspiration.

Note: Carlyle's theories have generally fallen out of fashion.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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