Individuals in History: Who is the most misunderstood human in history?Watch
For this first thread, we'll pose the question as to who is the most misunderstood person in human history? Somebody whose legacy you feel is often unfairly tainted, or perhaps isn't given enough credit for something they achieved that had a major impact.
As ever, keep it thoughtful and don't bash others for their responses (but feel free to debate of course!)
Harry S Truman.
He became president immediately after Roosevelts death as he was vice president. However, Roosevelt kept a few things very secretive, even from Truman. Including specific developments with the atomic bomb. Truman becomes president just as the second world war ends, is told full details about the atomic bomb. Roosevelt had intended to make peace with the Russians at the end of the war but Truman also never got that memo so at Potsdam Stalin gets annoyed that Truman never mentions the atom bomb that he knows the Americans have. The Russians start marching toward Japan, the atomic bomb is dropped and the Russian's stop halfway into Korea. We then have the cold war and the Korean war all because Truman didn't know all of Roosevelt's secrets. Yet Korea gets pinned on him even though he brought it basically to an end, Eisenhower signed the treaty at the very start of the presidency, but Truman's administration negotiated that ceasefire.
P.S. Fun fact, the S doesn't stand for anything.
Gets held up as the nice guys at the Treaty of Versailles, the one who wanted self-determination and the League of Nations and oh wasn't he so liberal with his 14 points, then is also a avid supporter of the Ku Klux Klan.
Is compared to LBJ as having ended the Vietnam war when LBJ made such a mess of it, when actually LBJ had been scaling down the conflict towards the end of his tenure, and Nixon prolonged the war for an extra 3 years, illegally bombing other countries for little reason and killing millions in the process. And then has the audacity to call the policy "Peace with Honour" when it was quite the opposite.
Her public perception and legacy was unjustly tainted based on the vile deeds done by another catholic royal named Mary; the bloodthirsty fanatic known as Bloody Mary.
But Mary Queen of Scots did not subscribe to the same uncompromising medieval religion of deranged zealotry and brutal violence that Mary I delighted in.
Mary Queen of Scots believed in peaceful religious pluralism and was married to men of alternative religious persuasions to herself.
While Mary I openly stated her intention to convert the whole of England to her brand of Catholicism, enforce religious traditions through the law and burn all who refused to convert at the stake.
Mary I's chose to marry a like minded cousin and follow in the footsteps of their grandparents who established the Spanish Inquisition to forcibly convert, murder and torture in the name of Catholicism.
Atatürk- Over a 15 year period he secularized Turkey, drastically strengthened the armed forces and was able to overcome the Treaty of Sèvres.
His secular revolution transformed an Ottoman caliphate into a secular Turkish Republic, the precise opposite of Khomeini's religious theocratic state.
Atatürk's legacy endures to this day; his reforms and the secular nation he created were so far reaching.
They gave rise to the world's first female combat fighter pilot.
He achieved far more than than any of the French or German leaders of his post WW1 era.
History has judged him very harshly over his failed policy of appeasing the Nazis in 1938.
But the accord reached at Munich did provide enough delay for Britain to embark upon crucial wartime preparations, war breaking out earlier would have been disastrous for Britain.
Hitler bitterly resented entering into the Munich agreement reached at Munich; ranting that Germany would have been certain to win had war broken out in 1938 and loudly bemoaned being cheated out of victory by Chamberlain at Munich.