Tyrants: History's 100 Most Evil Despots & Dictators

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Tyrants: History's 100 Most Evil Despots & Dictators is a study in depravity. It delves into the darkest recesses of the minds of the most vile men and women ever to seize power. With provocative insights into their shameful deeds, committed under a threadbare cloak of spurious legality, Tyrants confronts history's monsters head on. From the gruesome tale of the real-life Dracula, Vlad Tepes, a man who ate his meals surrounded by his impaled victims, to the gory deeds of latter-day cannibal, Idi Amin, Tyrants...
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0760775672 Barnes and Noble large hardcover with great dustjacket

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Tyrants: History's 100 Most Evil Despots & Dictators is a study in depravity. It delves into the darkest recesses of the minds of the most vile men and women ever to seize power. With provocative insights into their shameful deeds, committed under a threadbare cloak of spurious legality, Tyrants confronts history's monsters head on. From the gruesome tale of the real-life Dracula, Vlad Tepes, a man who ate his meals surrounded by his impaled victims, to the gory deeds of latter-day cannibal, Idi Amin, Tyrants is a compelling portrait that recounts the strange and grisly stories behind the world's most infamous autocrats.

Nigel Cawthorne has written, contributed to and edited more than sixty books, including Turning the Tide: Decisive Battles of the Second World War; Vietnam: A War Lost and Won; and A History of Pirates: Blood and Thunder on the High Seas. His work has also appeared in over a hundred and fifty newspapers and magazines including The Sun and the Financial Times. He lives in London.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780760775677
  • Publisher: Sterling Publishing
  • Publication date: 8/25/2005
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 8.84 (w) x 11.80 (h) x 0.89 (d)

Meet the Author

Nigel Cawthorne studied at University College, London, where he gained an Honours degree in physics, before turning to writing as a career. He has been a writer and editor for over 25 years, the last 21 freelance. He has written, contributed to, and edited more than eighty books.
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Table of Contents

The Ancient World

1 Akhenaton: Pharaoh of Egypt 8

2 Sennacherib: King of Assyria 9

3 Pheidon of Argos: Tyrant of Athens 10

4 Tarquin the Proud: Last King of Rome 11

5 Polycrates: Tyrant of Samos 12

6 Alexander the Great: King of Macedonia 12

7 Emperor Ch'in Shih-huang-ti: Emperor of China 17

8 Herod the Great: King of Judaea 18

9 Augustus: First Emperor of Rome 20

10 Caligula: Emperor of Rome 22

11 Agrippina: 'Empress' of Rome 26

12 Nero: Emperor of Rome 27

13 Domitian: Emperor of Rome 29

14 Attila the Hun: King of the Huns 30

15 Fredegund: Queen of the Franks 32

The Middle Ages

16 Wu Hou: Empress of China 34

17 Harun-al-Rashid: Caliph of Baghdad 35

18 Saint Olga: Regent of Russia 36

19 Genghis Khan: Rider of the Mongols 36

20 King John: King of England 44

21 Pedro the Cruel: King of Castile 45

22 Tamerlane: Ruler of Samarkand 46

23 Gian Galeazzo Visconti: Duke of Milan 48

24 Tomas de Torquemada: Grand Inquisitor of Spain 49

25 Vlad the Impaler: Count of Wallachia 52

26 Richard III: King of England 56

27 Cesare Borgia: Cardinal of Rome 57

28 Francisco Pizarro: Conqueror of the Incas 58

29 Hernán Cortés: Destroyer of the Aztecs 61

30 Henry VIII: King of England 63

31 Mary I: Queen of England 66

32 Catherine de'Medici: Regent of France 68

33 Ivan the Terrible: Tsar of Russia 69

34 Toyotomi Hideyoshi: Ruler of Japan 72

35 Boris Godunov: Tsar of Russia 74

36 Elizabeth Bathory: Countess of Transylvania 76

37 Charles I: King of England 78

38 Aurangzeb: Mughal Emperor of India 81

39 Peter the Great: Tsar of Russia 82

40 Nadir Shah: Shah of Persia 84

41 Frederick William I: King of Prussia 85

The Napoleonic Era

42 Catherine the Great: Tsarina of Russia 87

43 George III: King of England 90

44 Tippu Sultan: Sultan of Mysore 91

45 Louis XVI: King of France 92

46 Paul I: Tsar of Russia 94

47 Maximilien Robespierre: Revolutionary French Leader 96

48 Dr Jose Gaspar Rodríguez Francia: Dictator of Paraguay 100

49 Napoleon Bonaparte: Emperor of France 103

50 Agustín de Iturbide: Dictator of Mexico 108

51 Ludwig I and Ludwig II: Kings of Bavaria 109

52 Shaka: Chief of the Zulu 112

53 Juan Manuel de Rosas: Dictator of Argentina 113

54 Ferdinand II: King of Naples and Sicily 114

55 Hung Hsiu-ch'uan: Warlord of China 115

56 Theodore II: Emperor of Ethiopia 116

57 Francisco Solano López: Dictator of Paraguay 117

58 Antonio Guzmán Blanco: President of Venezuela 122

59 Leopold II: King of Belgium 123

60 Mwanga: Kabaka of Buganda 129

The Modern World

61 Porfirio Díaz: Dictator of Mexico 132

62 Tzu-his: Dowager Empress of China 133

63 Kaiser Wilhelm II: Emperor of Germany 134

64 Vladimir Ilyich Lenin: Leader of the USSR 136

65 Syngman Rhee: President of Korea 138

66 Juan Perón: President of Argentina 139

67 Josef Stalin: Leader of the USSR 141

68 Benito Mussolini: Dictator of Italy 143

69 Chiang Kai-shek: Ruler of China 146

70 Adolf Hitler: Führer of Germany 148

71 António de Oliveira Salazar: Ruler of Portugal 152

72 Rafael Trujillo: Dictator of the Dominican Republic 153

73 Francisco Franco: Dictator of Spain 154

74 Mao Tse-tung: Chairman, Chinese Communist Party 157

75 Anastasio Somoza García: Dictator of Nicaragua 161

76 Ayatollah Khomeini: Ruler of Iran 163

77 Fulgencio Batista y Zaldivar: Dictator of Cuba 165

78 Ngo Dinh Diem: President of South Vietnam 167

79 Achmed Sukarno: President of Indonesia 168

80 François Duvalier ('Papa Doc'): President of Haiti 170

81 Enver Hoxha: Leader of Albania 172

82 Kwame Nkrumah: President of Ghana 173

83 Kim Il-sung: Leader of North Korea 174

84 Alfredo Stroessner: Dictator of Paraguay 775

85 Augusto Pinochet: President of Chile 176

86 Ferdinand Marcos: President of the Philippines 178

87 Nicolae Ceausescu: Dictator of Romania 180

88 Jean Bedel Bokassa: President, Central African Republic 182

89 Idi Amin: President of Uganda 184

90 Robert Mugabe: President of Zimbabwe 185

91 Fidel Castro: President of Cuba 187

92 Efrain Ríos Montt: Dictator of Guatemala 190

93 Pol Pot: Leader of Cambodia 192

94 Mobutu Sese Seko: Dictator of the Congo 194

95 Mengistu Haile Mariam: Ruler of Ethiopia 195

96 Saddam Hussein: President of Iraq 197

97 Slobodan Milosevic President of Serbia 200

98 Muammar al-Gaddafi: President of Libya 202

99 Hissen Habré: Dictator of Chad 206

100 Samuel Doe: Dictator of Liberia 208

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2007

    Mostly Sensationalist Revisionist Trash...

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 27, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    Overall, it is a pretty interesting book. It has a lot of inform

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2012

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