As a student of history, I’ve learned during my studies that some historical figures who are looked upon as saviors and “good guys” are actually pretty awful in many ways.
Sure, maybe they did some good things, too, but the bad stuff might actually overshadow those achievements…just saying…
What historical “good guys” were actually pretty terrible?
Let’s get some history lessons from folks on AskReddit.
1. Didn’t deserve the credit.
“Alexander Graham Bell!
This man did not invent the telephone. Several people were working on similar technology at the same time. Antonio Meucci invented it first, but there was a court case over who got the patent rights.
Meucci died before the case was settled, and Graham Bell won the glory he didn’t deserve.”
2. Did you know this?
Violent wife beater, vicious and hateful little sh*tbag. He used to scream at his baby boy when he was crying because “it distracted him”.
Wrote “Imagine” speaking about dreaming of no possessions, from his multi-million dollar condo overlooking Central Park in NYC. Didn’t speak to George Harrison for months after he published his autobiography because it didn’t praise Lennon quite enough for his taste.
Absolute piece of sh*t.”
Gets a lot of credit for steering the US through the Great Depression and WWII, but committed one of the greatest violations of people’s rights in US history when he interned tons of Japanese-Americans.”
4. I didn’t know that.
“Gandhi was a racist, s*xist and actively encourage Casteism in India. The inspiring story you hear about his protest in South Africa is a myth.
Gandhi was actually p*ssed that he was asked to sit with the Blacks in the train, a race he considered inferior”
Electrocuted an elephant to show that AC electricity is dangerous. Supposedly wasn’t a great scientist either.
Allegedly he was a great project manager and businessman though.”
“Dr. Seuss was a total piece of sh*t who cheated on his first wife with her friend.
His first wife, Helen, had Guillain-Barré syndrome, and knowledge of her husbands affair drove her to eventual suicide. He then remarried her friend.
Her suicide note; “I am too old and enmeshed in everything you do and are, that I cannot conceive of life without you,” read her suicide note. “My going will leave quite a rumor, but you can say I was overworked and overwrought. Your reputation with your friends and fans will not be harmed.””
“Churchill’s policy failures in India, such as diverting food away from starving Indian’s to already well-supplied British troops, helped cause the Bengal famine which killed millions.
“Relief will do nothing, for Indians breed like rabbits” – Winston Churchill”
8. A saint?
“Mother Teresa was a hypocrite who denied people a peaceful, painless death by morphine because ‘the sick should suffer as Christ did’.
But she had it for herself to ease her own pain when she was dying.”
Often seen as a champion of conservative politics Reagan led a pretty big economic boom but did nothing to combat the HIV Virus because it was seen as a “gay disease” sold weapons to terrorists in exchange for hostages and led the crack epidemic that plagued African Americans for years.”
10. A very influential writer.
“HP Lovecraft. He didn’t pioneer any social movements or anything like that, but he’s one of the most influential writers of the 20th century.
He was also insanely racists. And not just your typical “white man from 1920s America” racist, but passionately, unapologetically racist.
The kind of racist that made other racist 1920s American white guys say “Dude, chill out with the racism.””
11. His face sells a lot of t-shirts…
He was a cruel racist homophobe, who built labour camps, killed political enemies and suppressed free speech.”
Getting shot and being handsome allowed people to overlook the Bay of Pigs, his womanizing and mafia connections as well as his numerous destructive political policies.”
“Dwight Eisenhower. One of America’s more popular presidents.
His domestic policy was ok, but his foreign policy was a disaster whose repercussions continue to resonate today. He organized CIA plots to overthrow democratic governments In Guatemala and Iran, insisting he was protecting these regions from communist incursion when in fact the autocratic regimes installed primarily protected the commercial interests of the United Fruit company and British Petroleum.
He refused to accept the legitimacy of U.N. brokered elections in Vietnam, nullifying the democratic process and installing a brutal dictator instead, resulting eventually in the U.S.-Vietnam war.
When the revolution organized by Guevara and Castro overthrew the corrupt Batista regime, Eisenhower gave in to pressure from commercial interests and refused to aid the new government, forcing them to turn to the Soviet Union for help.
He then organized the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion which was not launched until after Kennedy was elected but the planning and organization was pure Eisenhower. The Cuban missile crisis resulted directly from Eisenhower’s policies.
He can also be blamed for nurturing the career of his vice president Richard Nixon, who would become one of the most loathed politicians in U.S. history.”
Now we want to hear from you.
In the comments, tell us about some of history’s really bad people who are looked back on as “good guys.”
We’d love to hear from you!