Jean Henry Dunant (1901) and Theodore Roosevelt (1906) are the two Laureates who clearly fall outside any of the categories mentioned so far. Dunant, who founded the International Red Cross in 1863, had been more or less forgotten until a campaign secured him several international prizes, including the first Nobel Peace Prize. The Norwegian Nobel Committee thus established a broad definition of peace, arguing that even humanitarian work embodied "the fraternity between nations" that Nobel had referred to in his will. Roosevelt was the twenty-sixth president of the United States and the first in a long series of statesmen to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He received the prize for his successful mediation to end the Russo-Japanese war and for his interest in arbitration, having provided the Hague arbitration court with its very first case. Internationally, however, he was best known for a rather bellicose posture, which certainly included the use of force. It is known that both the secretary and the relevant adviser of the Nobel Committee at that time were highly critical of an award to Roosevelt. It is thus tempting to speculate that the American president was honored at least in part because Norway, as a new state on the international arena, "needed a large, friendly neighbor - even if he is far away," as one Norwegian newspaper put it. Even if, or perhaps rather because, the prize to Roosevelt was controversial, it did in some ways constitute a breakthrough in international media interest in the Nobel Peace Prize.
Finally, the third precondition was the solidification of the alliance between organized labor and the Democratic Party. Franklin Roosevelt's signing of the Wagner Act (which protected the rights of private-sector workers to organize and bargain collectively) in 1935 fully bonded labor to the Democrats; their partnership was reinforced during the fight over the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947, which was a Republican initiative to rein in union power. By mid-century, Democrats began to rely on labor unions for both funding and on-the-ground campaign organizing. In the 1950s and '60s, according to political scientist J. David Greenstone, "labor functioned as the most important nation-wide electoral organization for the Democratic Party." As a political tag team, both Democrats and labor had an incentive to broaden the base of the labor movement — and they came to see public-sector workers as the most promising new hunting ground, especially as private-sector union membership began to decline.
Lee was no hero; he fought for an unjust cause, and he lost. Unlike the Founding Fathers (even the slaveholders among them), he failed the basic test of history: leaving the world better and freer than he found it. And while he was not responsible for the South’s strategic failures, his lack of strategic vision places him below Grant, Sherman and Winfield Scott in any assessment of the war’s greatest generals. We should not be building new monuments to him, but if we fail to understand why the men of his day revered him, we are likelier to fail to understand who people revere today, and why. And tearing down statues of Lee today is less about understanding the past than it is a contest to divide the people of today’s America, and see who holds more power. That’s no better an attitude today than it was in Lee’s day.