Who Are the Literati Shaping the World of Tomorrow?

By Neal Comment


One of the best things about Esquire‘s list of the world’s 75 most influential people was how many names on the list we didn’t recognize, which goes to show how broadly the magazine’s editors were thinking from both an international and multidisciplinary perspective. That said, it was also refreshing to see several authors on the list, including Michael Chabon, Samantha Power, Dave Eggers, Lisa Randall, Noah Feldman, Bjorn Lomborg, Mehmet Oz, Jim Webb, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, Parag Khanna, and Rory Stewart—not to mention Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, and Bill Gates—yep, remember The Road Ahead? (It’s worth noting, though, that each Clinton gets an individual nod, while Melinda Gates is forced to share the spotlight with her husband.)

Other people on the list who are of no small significance to the book world: Jeff Bezos, Rupert Murdoch, Michael Bloomberg, and Oprah Winfrey. (In that sense, actually, Colbert and Stewart are probably even more important for the attention they give to serious authors on their programs as they are for the book projects they’ve overseen.)