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9.24.2008

esquire's most influential

Esquire recently named its list of The 75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century. Isn't it a little too early to be presenting such a list? And I'm not sure why they stopped at 75. Why not just go for the full 100? At this point, just eight years into century, it couldn't be too hard to come up the most influential. Right? (EDIT: Ah, it now occurs to me that the list was in honor of Esquire's 75th anniversary.) Anyway, among the 75, the list names:
David Chang
31, chef, futurist, New York
Because he cooks in a spectacular way, but, somehow, without pretense.

Deng Xiaoping
Chinese Communist leader (dead)
Because he's not only responsible for what's happening in China now -- he's responsible for what's about to happen in China.

M.I.A.
33, musician, Everywhere
Because she's the first and only major artist in world music.

Bobby Jindal
37, governor, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Because in a party of very few stars, he's the brightest by far.

Lakshmi Mittal
58, CEO, ArcelorMittal, London
Because he heads up the world's largest producer of steel and employs 310,000 people in 60 countries.

John Maeda
41, president, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence
Because design will be the technology of the 21st century.

Gao Xiqing
55, general manager, China Investment Corporation, Beijing
Because he's got 1.2 billion investors -- and $200 billion to play with.

Parag Khanna
31, Geopolitical analyst, New York
Because he spent two years in fifty developing countries to develop a powerful assessment of global politics and illuminate the world to come.
Overall, it's a pretty interesting list, though it's ridiculous that there are so few women among the seventy-five. Sure, all lists are subjective, but this seems considerably disproportionate. Perhaps they really should have come up with 25 more names to expand the list to a hundred.

This actually gets me thinking... who are the most influential Asian Americans in the United States, throughout history and beyond? And who are the most influential Asian Americans of the 21st century? Which names would comprise such a list? This is definitely something to ponder. It may be fodder for a future feature here...