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Devil Of The Century - Reader Choices!

Dukie Of The Century? Just A Low-Down Devil? You tell us!

After we asked you guys who should be man of the century, or woman, or
inanimate object if you prefer, we figured it would be good to stick a bit
closer to home and see who was the most influential Dukie of them all. Here are
some responses we got. We actually mixed in Dukie of the Century and the more general Man of the Century, and James picked Person of the Millennium, and it
wasn't Adolph Rupp.

Hey, it was a long day. So sue us.

Christopher -

I'll give you a few alternative options in no particular order:

1) Martin Luther King, Jr. -- self-explanatory really, but IMHO his "I Have
a Dream" speech was more moving and ultimately affected more change than
even Churchhill's speech or FDR's "There is nothing to fear but fear
itself" speech. I believe that the Allies would have won the war whether
those speeches were so stirring or not, because we ultimately had greater
resources, but I don't believe that the civil rights movement would have
traveled so far so quickly without MLK's leadership. I think he's the moral
voice (after Christ) of America (I sadly don't know enough to say how
international his presence has become) in this century, the voice that
everyone hears inside their heads.

2) Joyce/Beckett -- they were their own men--but what a team! They
redefined and maybe reached the limits of what it is possible to express
with language, Joyce by including everything and Beckett by stripping
everything away, and also possessed great respect for humanity. Really, no
artist in any medium can follow them without reacting to them.

3) The Dalai Lama -- I think he's the most enlightened international
figure leading and teaching in the world today. Wherever he goes he touches
people in a direct and loving way that I do not think any other figure this
century has. In the current wilderness of spin and hype, his is the most
startlingly sincere voice, a thunderous whisper of calm, compassionate

4) Bob Dylan -- He's the greatest songwriter ever. Elvis unleashed the
power of rock 'n' roll on the world, but Bobby upped the ante so much, made
it into articulate art, gave it poetry, introspection, and wild thin
mercury. He is the quintessential American, always looking forward and
back, being born again in the crucible of the moment. He's the poetic voice
of the modern more so IMHO than Ezra Pound or T.S. Eliot or Wallace
Stevens, and he's certainly reached a lot more people than they ever have.
There's no age of Aquarius without him.

5) Whoever invented the birth control pill. To me that is the greatest
invention of the 20th century and not the bomb (as Vonnegut points out in
_Slaughterhouse Five_ more people were killed in the fire-bombing of
Dresden with conventional weapons than in the atomic explosions in
Hiroshima or Nagasaki). The pill, more so than the other forms of birth
control, fundamentally changed the balance of power, or more specifically
helped to alleviate the inbalance of power, between men and women. It
changed the way we go about flirting, falling in love, having sex,
marrying, planning families, planning careers, everything really. What's
more fundamental than that?

Finally, I'd like to point out that as much as there is to admire about FDR
and Churchhill, I cannot overlook or forgive Yalta and the ceding of
Eastern Europe to the Soviets and the conswquent, destruction of so many
more lives, including many many who had fought against Hitler and Musilini.

David M -

Dear DBR,
Without a doubt, the Dukie of the Century has to be James B. Duke. Without his vision, we wouldn't even have a Duke University to discuss.
Enjoy your info.

Richard Ranger -

Bos and Julio --

I'm cheating, with two nominees. I'll start by saying that the definitive story
of the 20th Century is the growth -- first deliberate, then explosive -- of the
power of the nation-state, and of models for the nation-state that were (and/or
are) coercive and imperial. The flip side of that story is the story of those
leaders and those nations that resisted those nations and leaders who sought to
expand the power and influence of their tyrannical empires. Whom you nominate
depends upon how you read the story and where you see the story reaching
resolution. In other words, is your protagonist Darth Vader, or is it Luke
Skywalker?. You can read the definitive events and players as being those who
set the story in motion by launching their imperial ambitions -- e.g. Lenin or
Hitler. Or you can read the definitive events and players as being those who
triumphed over them.

My nominees:

Ronald Reagan: He picked up the sword that had long lain on the floor, and dared
to lead the free world, first to again acknowledge itself as such, and then to
challenge the inevitability of history that the Marxists had claimed for
themselves. But, before there was Reagan, there was . . .

Pope John Paul II: His leadership and his ministry showed in bold relief that
Marxism held no claim either on historical inevitability or as the expression of
moral truth that humankind has understood throughout its modern experience.
Those are fighting words, I realize, but I stand by them. Pope John Paul, by
his life and witness ripped the curtain back from Marxism to expose it for the
fraud and heresy that it is. I'm not a Catholic, but the Pope's voice forced
the crack in the Marxist pavement through which freedom -- at times fitfully --
has begun to grow.

Rob -

Me again, Dukie of the century is a tough one, but I think that Nixon
might take the cake...As a liberal, it PAINS me to say so, but those who
follow the political spectrum have to understand that the guy left a
huge legacy behind him, obviously with the Watergate scandal first and
formost, but also with his extraordinary foreign policy, which even as a
liberal, I have to say (though it pains me to do so) was groundbreaking
especially in regards to our relationship with China...True he was not
the nicest man in the world but so what?...No one could deny his
achievements (not even me)...

Runners up have to include the legendary Coach K, Grant Hill, Laettner,
Clarkston Hines, Ace Parker, Anthony Dilweg...I have a tough time
putting Ken Starr on here though... I mean, I don't see what kind of
legacy Starr left, I wouldn't think that he postively contributed to
society in any way that was publicized,

SRouse -

has to be laettner or johnnie dawkins for reigniting some emotion for duke

Mike - Hey guys. I've got to cast my lot for Winston Churchill as well, whose
courage and determination may have single-handedly saves Europe from Hitler
and Germany. He, and he alone, stood up to Germany and refused to fold in
the face of a ferocious onslaught. By holding out as long as he did, he
allowed Russia to re-mobilize and forced Hitler into a two-front war that,
once the US became fully engaged, led to the defeat of Nazi Germany.

Silver medal, of course, goes to Coach K. ;-)

Happy holidays to you and yours,


Jay -

The man dropped millions into Trinity College to build Duke University. He
definitely had more direct influence on my life than Tricky Dick!

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

He redefined what it means to be an American by bringing life to the phrase
"all men are created equal." Perhaps America will realize his dream in the
next century.

C West -

Judy Woodruff....just kidding.....I'd have to say William Styron.

Kira -

Terry Sanford. He set an exemplary direction for the school and the state.
What's more, he did it all with grace, integrity and a warm smile.

Tom -

Coach K. He is the most publicly visible figure who stands for what Duke
is...Quality, integrity, character and class. Other figures like Richard
Nixon may have been more well known on the international scene, but they are
flawed. Ken Starr's legacy is not known at the present time. Only history
will judge. Other Duke people on the academic side have done great things
that will affect the lives of people in more meaningful ways. However, they
are not known to the public at large. Coach K is a great role model and is
only 52 years old. To some extent, his role has yet to be judged by
history. However, I will give even money that he appears on the cover of
Time Magazine, like Bear Bryant (who isn't in Coach K's league by the way),
if he coaches for another 10-15 years and continues his past successes. He
will go down in history as one of the top two or three coaches and rank up
there with John Wooden.

Thanks for the opportunity to express my views. I continue to salute and
appreciate both of you and all of the other individuals who run this web
site. For those of us who are true Duke basketball fans this site is the
best on the web. Thanks very much for your efforts, particularly, as it
keeps those of us informed who do not live near Duke. Have a Merry
Christmas and a Happy New Year!

David Hodskins -

Dick Groat -- big time athlete in two major sports

Rick -

Mike Krzyzewski--in my mind, no one has done more to increase the visibility
of Duke's proud tradition of academic and athletic excellence on a national
level. In addition, I am surely not alone in feeling that the tremendous love
that I now have (and that I will certainly continue to exude throughout my
lifetime) is in large part related to Coach K's "involvement" in my Duke

Sky Quin -

Christian Laetenner (misspelled). I'm not a Dukie, but a Duke lover.

Bill -

CHRISTIAN LAETTNER! Best college basketball player ever in ACC. Tough, clutch, leader, winner, two national championships and always gave everything he had.

Ted -

James Buchanan Duke... If not, then Uncle Terry Sanford... If not,
then Jack Lucas, Class of '53, Medal of Honor as a Marine in WWII... If
not, then Sonny Jurgenson... But never Richard Nixon.

Ted Buschman, Trinity '53

Sarah -

Trajon Langdon!

Gregory -

Christian Laettner-the "shot" inspires us all forever !

Anonymous -

Vint Cerf

He invented e-mail. Think where we would be if we didn't have
networking computers, and commercial networking was driven primarily
by e-mail.

James expands the criteria -

Of course, we all know that the century, and millenium, end on
December 31, 2000.

That said, my vote for the person of the millenium would go to her
imperial majesty, Queen Elizabeth I of England and France.

When she took office, England was the weakest and poorest nation in
Europe. Elizabeth, as Queen, assumed the mantle of the leader of
the Protestant world against the tremendous power of the Pope and
Catholicism. During her reign, England became the world's preeminent
sea power, a role she had until WWII. Her Navy crushed the Spanish
Armada and effectively broke Rome's stranglehold on the Christian

Meanwhile, England experienced a period of cultural enlightenment,
producing authors like William Shakespeare and explorers like
Sir Walter Raleigh.

The British Empire, the largest empire in the history of the world,
was born in her reign.

Elizabeth I Regina. My (DBR's?) Person of the Millennium.

(And I'm a Scot...)