Was Liz Truss wise to defend her legacy?

The impulse to rebut criticism is a powerful one, but is it wise to try to defend your legacy and how do you know when to speak out?

by Antonia Garrett Peel

According to a popular account, Swedish chemist and dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel set about to redefine the terms in which he’d be remembered after reading his obituary, mistakenly published after his brother’s death was confused for his own.

The success of his reputation rehabilitation efforts was comprehensive. Dubbed in the premature obit as “the merchant of death” who “made a fortune by finding ways to kill more people faster than ever before”, today Nobel’s name is synonymous with peace.

While some historians have questioned the veracity of the story, including the existence of the death notice and the possibility of discerning Nobel’s motivations, he still stands as one of the most powerful examples of reputation engineering.

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