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by Nigel Cawthorne

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“I have committed many acts of cruelty and had an incalculable number of men killed, never knowing whether what I did was right. But I am indifferent to what people think of me.” --Genghis Khan

A spine-chilling chronicle of dictators and their crimes against humanity, Tyrants: History’s 100 Most Evil Despots & Dictators

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“I have committed many acts of cruelty and had an incalculable number of men killed, never knowing whether what I did was right. But I am indifferent to what people think of me.” --Genghis Khan

A spine-chilling chronicle of dictators and their crimes against humanity, Tyrants: History’s 100 Most Evil Despots & Dictators introduces one hundred of the most bloodthirsty madmen – and women – ever to wield power over their unfortunate fellow human beings.

From Herod the Great, persecutor of the infant Jesus, to Adolf Hitler, mass murderer and instigator of the most devastating war in human history, the book examines history’s most infamous despots and tells in vivid detail the story of the lives they led, their climb to power and the destruction and sorrow they left in their wake.

Unflinching in its coverage, Tyrants is a gripping and compelling portrait of the darker side of politics and power, revealing the strange and grisly stories behind the world’s most infamous autocrats.

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7.40(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.80(d)

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Tyrants 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Having seen this title at a local Barnes & Noble, I expected another mainstream typical pro-Western book with a mercilessly anti-socialist POV. I was actually surprised, seeing as though Lenin, Stalin, Mao, and Stalinist dictators such as Ceausescu and Kim Il Sung were included (as they rightly should be), yet Tito, Guevara, and (surprisingly) Castro were excluded (as they rightly should be) as were socialist-aligned leaders such as Allende and the Sandinistas. Even US-backed fascist dictators such as Batista, Diem, Pinochet, and Ayatollah Khomeini were included! But why were such leaders as Alexander the Great, Shaka, and Kaiser Wilhelm included? (And why were contemporary Persian emperors, or European colonial governors, or Tsar Nicholas II excluded?) Sure all three were conquerors, but including them but excluding their rivals (who were usually way worse) is unfair bias! Alexander of Macedon was actually progressive for his time. Shaka was a military genius and a hero to the Zulu and other Bantu peoples, and a resistor of European imperialism. Of course, Kaiser Wilhelm is falsely blamed (yet again) for starting WW1. Actually, for those of us who do not read Anglo-French revisionist history, we KNOW that WW1 was started by a terrorist attack against the Austrian archduke by Serbian nationalist terrorists and the Austrian retaliation. Kind of like what the US did in Afghanistan after 9/11 or the Israeli intervention in Lebanon after the Hezbollah Crisis. Blaming Germany for STARTING WW1 is like blaming Canada for the US invasion of Iraq or blaming America for the Israeli occupation of Lebanon. So it is clear that the author does NOT have an anti-communist bias (as evidenced by his exclusion of Tito and Castro) or a pro-West bias (as evidenced by his inclusion of Alexander the Great), or an anti-West bias (as indicated by his inclusion of Shaka). Worse, the author has a crude Anglo-American bias. He is nothing more than a stooge of the British Empire! Consider the complete abscence of British rulers! Also note how he includes Ivan the Terrible and Catherine the Great but conveniently forgets Bloody Nicholas, the last czar known for his rabid anti-semitism and pogroms and whose autocratic rule set the stage for Lenin and Co. (But czarist Russia was on jolly olde England's side during WW1, so Czar Nick gets a pass!) Or how Napoleon is included but revanchist Clemencaeu, whose hatred paved the way for Hitler and the Third Reich, gets a pass. I do not recall any leaders from the British or Ottoman empires, two most evil empires before the Soviet Union and 3rd Reich getting mention. And how come not one American president is mentioned (forget Carter, Reagan, Bush I & II, or Clinton)? What about Andrew Jackson, McKinley, T. Roosevelt, Wilson? Why weren't Kim Jong Il, Mullah Omar, and Osama bin Laden included? Why wasn't Kemal Ataturk, the first Fascist dictator of modern times included? It is clear that Nigel is an Anglo-American historical revisionist. Basically, British and their Colonies, Turks, and Zionist Israel = Good Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Zulus, Boers, Prussians = Evil according to this propagandist.
JakeNJ More than 1 year ago
Overall, it is a pretty interesting book. It has a lot of information and facts. Historical data and explanation on the tyrants who wanted to rule the world or in some cases just their own part of it. One thing that sticks out the most is the common actions, trends, that all of those men, and some women, posses. Destroying opposition, high taxation, complete control of power without any rules or regulations. If there are any laws, constitution, that previously compiled the laws of the land, most of those tyrants first aimed to abolish that and place themselves as judge and jury. Interesting information and very educational in deed. Couple of things that I didn't like or just maybe wish were different in this book.  1. Even thought some are explained in great detail, why they are considered tyrants, what did they     do, why they did what they did and many other aspects, there were others who were not described in     more detail that I know exists and would probably give a reader a better view into the true      tyranny behind those regimes and rulers.  2. There was one of the men described, that I am not clear what made his a "tyrant". If we would add     people based on what is explained in this book about Antonio De Oliveira Salazar of Portugal, we     can add pretty much the entire US Obama administration to the list as well.  Overall, as I have mentioned, it is a great book, but I wish it had a bit more information on some of the tyrants and explanation, otherwise I recommend it to anyone who enjoys history and it is a nice recap of most of the historical monsters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago