Over the course of the twentieth century, Americans have made great strides in science, created new forms of artistic expression, given women the right to vote, and fought for civil rights legislation. They were inspired by the sermons of Martin Luther King, Jr., cheered the exploits of Muhammad Ali, and witnessed such activities as Dolores Huerta and Gloria Steinem win hard victories for human rights. Our spirits soared as men took their first steps on the moon, developed extraordinary new technologies, and crafted lasting peace treaties. These events- and the leaders behind them- have shaped who we are as a nation, and challenged how we, as Americans, think.
This magnificent collection of photographs and essays celebrates more than fifty of our nation's greatest heroes. Imagine captures the words and ideas of famous and not-so-famous leaders, artists, entertainers, business pioneers, scientists, and philosophers- from Amelia Earhart and John F. Kennedy to Sally Ride and Albert Einstein- al illuminated by the portraits of renowned photographers such as Carl Van Vechten, Yousuf Karsh, and Michael Collopy. As we embark on a new century, Imagine pays tribute to the greatest individuals of the last century, with the hope that their inspiring examples will help us imagine more fulfilling lives and a better world for all.