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Great Leaders, Great Tyrants?: Contemporary Views of World Rulers Who Made History

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Can a political leader be effective without being tyrannical? Most biographies tend to treat the tyrannical aspect of a great leader's career as a contradiction to be minimized. This book examines both the creative and tyrannical aspects as the anticipated consequences of the exercise of power. Biographical profiles of 52 major world leaders throughout history feature pro/con essays reflecting contemporary views of the creative and tyrannical aspects of their record. Coverage is global, from Indira Gandhi to ...

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Overview

Can a political leader be effective without being tyrannical? Most biographies tend to treat the tyrannical aspect of a great leader's career as a contradiction to be minimized. This book examines both the creative and tyrannical aspects as the anticipated consequences of the exercise of power. Biographical profiles of 52 major world leaders throughout history feature pro/con essays reflecting contemporary views of the creative and tyrannical aspects of their record. Coverage is global, from Indira Gandhi to Fidel Castro, and spans history from the Egyptian king Akhenaton to Mikhail Gorbachev. Among the leaders profiled are Otto von Bismarck, Oliver Cromwell, Charles de Gaulle, Elizabeth I, Ho Chi Minh, Lenin, Louis XIV, Mao Zedong, Napoleon I, Kwame Nkrumah, Juan Peron, and Tito. All biographies are written by subject specialists. This work encourages critical thinking and debate about the exercise of power.

Coverage is global, from Indira Gandhi to Fidel Castro, and spans history from the Egyptian king Akhenaton to Mikhail Gorbachev. Among the leaders profiled are Otto von Bismarck, Oliver Cromwell, Charles de Gaulle, Elizabeth I, Ho Chi Minh, Lenin, Louis XIV, Mao Zedong, Napoleon I, Kwame Nkrumah, Juan Peron, and Tito. Each biography begins with full name, dates of the leader's lifetime, offices held, and a general introduction placing the leader in historical context. A full biographical essay follows. The editor then presents two essays, in debate format, contrasting the creative and tyrannical roles of the subject from a contemporary viewpoint. Each biography concludes with suggestions for additional reading about the subject. An important resource tool, students will use Great Leaders, Great Tyrants? for debate and critical examination of periods of world history and the exercise of power.

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Editorial Reviews

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Examines both creative and tyrannical aspects as the anticipated consequences of the exercise of power. Biographical profiles of 52 major world leaders throughout history feature pro/con essays reflecting contemporary views of the creative and tyrannical aspects of their record. Coverage is global, from Indira Gandhi to Fidel Castro, and spans history from the Egyptian king Akhenaton to Mikhail Gorbachev. Among the figures profiled are Otto von Bismarck, Oliver Cromwell, Charles de Gaulle, Kwame Nkrumah, Juan Peron, and Tito. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313287510
  • Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/28/1995
  • Pages: 368
  • Lexile: 1370L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.37 (w) x 9.59 (h) x 1.29 (d)

Meet the Author

ARNOLD BLUMBERG is Professor of History at Towson State University in Maryland.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Akhenaten (c. 1396-1360 B.C.E.), King of Egypt 1
Ataturk (1881-1938), President of Turkey 7
Prince Otto Eduard Leopold von Bismarck-Schonhausen (1815-1898), Chancellor of Germany 13
Fidel Castro (1926-), Cuban Chief of State 20
Catherine the Great (1729-1796), Empress of Russia 27
Count Camillo Benso di Cavour (1810-1861), Prime Minister of Sardinia-Piedmont and Italy 32
Charles I (1600-1649), King of England, Scotland, and Ireland 38
Charles V (1500-1558), Holy Roman Emperor 45
Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658), Lord Protector of the Commonwealth 52
Charles de Gaulle (1890-1970), President of the French Fifth Republic 58
Elizabeth I (1533-1603), Queen of England 65
Francisco Franco y Bahamonde (1892-1975), Spanish Chief of State 72
Franz Joseph I (1830-1916), Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary 80
Indira Nehru Gandhi (1917-1984), Prime Minister of India 87
Mikhail Sergeevich Gorbachev (1931-), General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union 95
Henry VIII (1491-1547), King of England 102
Herod the Great (c. 75-4 B.C.E.), King of Judea 109
Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1536-1598), Supreme Daimyo of Japan 113
Ho Chi Minh (1890-1969), President of the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam 119
Ivan IV, the Terrible (1530-1584), Grand Prince and Tsar of Moscow 126
Bohdan Zynovyi Khmel'nyts'kyi (c. 1595-1657), Hetman of the Ukraine 133
Nikita Sergeevich Khrushchev (1894-1971), First Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party 140
Pierre Laval (1883-1945), French Premier 146
V. I. Lenin (1870-1924), Russian Head of State 152
Leopold II (1835-1909), King of the Belgians 159
Louis XIV (1638-1715), King of France 164
Mao Zedong (1893-1976), Dictator of the People's Republic of China 170
Mary I (1516-1558), Queen of England 178
Ivan Stepanovych Mazepa (c. 1632-1709), Hetman of the Ukraine 184
Cosimo de' Medici (1389-1464), Head of the Council of the Republic of Florence 191
Clemens von Metternich (1773-1859), Chancellor of Austria 197
Napoleon I (1769-1821), Emperor of the French 203
Napoleon III (1808-1873), Emperor of the French 209
Kwame Nkrumah (1909-1972), President of Ghana 215
Julius Kambarage Nyerere (1922-), President of Tanzania 221
Juan Domingo Peron (1895-1974), President of Argentina 227
Peter the Great (1672-1725), Emperor of Russia 233
Pheidon (c. 600 B.C.), King of Argos 242
Philip II of Habsburg (1527-1598), King of Spain 248
Abd al-Karim Qassem (1914-1963), Ruler of Iraq 255
Qin Shih Huang Di (259-210 B.C.), First Emperor of All China 261
Stenka Razin (c. 1630-1671), Russian Cossack Rebel 268
Richard II (1367-1400), King of England 276
Richard III (1452-1485), King of England 283
Maximilien Robespierre (1758-1794), Revolutionary Leader in France 289
Joseph Stalin (1879-1953), General Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party 295
Pyotr Arkad'evich Stolypin (1862-1911), Prime Minister of Russia 301
Tito (1892-1980), Leader of Yugoslavia 307
Trajan (53-117), Roman Emperor 314
Vespasian (9-79), Roman Emperor 320
Wilhelm II (1859-1941), German Emperor 327
Thomas Wolsey (c. 1472-1530), Lord Chancellor of England 334
Index 341
About the Editor and Contributors 351
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