Any selection of leaders, whatever the criteria, is inherently subjective, and this collection does not pretend to be comprehensive. It does establish clear criteria for inclusion, attempting to include outstanding individuals from America, Africa, and the Caribbean, who are clearly of global and not solely national significance. Leaders from a number of historical epochs were selected, and the editor has also included material on outstanding women leaders. Leaders who have captured the world's imagination (Shaka), or who have profoundly affected the modern period (Kwame Nkrumah) have also been represented. With one exception, Nelson Mandela, the individuals described are no longer living, to ensure that time warrants a consensus about their significance.
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