Strongman: The Rise of Five Dictators and the Fall of Democracy

Strongman: The Rise of Five Dictators and the Fall of Democracy

by Kenneth C. Davis

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Overview

From the bestselling author of the Don’t Know Much About® books comes a dramatic account of the origins of democracy, the history of authoritarianism, and the reigns of five of history's deadliest dictators.

What makes a country fall to a dictator? How do authoritarian leaders—strongmen—capable of killing millions acquire their power? How are they able to defeat the ideal of democracy? And what can we do to make sure it doesn’t happen again?

By profiling five of the most notoriously ruthless dictators in history—Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, and Saddam Hussein—Kenneth C. Davis seeks to answer these questions, examining the forces in these strongmen’s personal lives and historical periods that shaped the leaders they’d become.

Meticulously researched and complete with photographs, Strongman provides insight into the lives of five leaders who callously transformed the world and serves as an invaluable resource in an era when democracy itself seems in peril.

* "A fascinating, highly readable portrayal of infamous men that provides urgent lessons for democracy now." —Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Strongman is a book that is both deeply researched and deeply felt, both an alarming warning and a galvanizing call to action, both daunting and necessary to read and discuss." —Cynthia Levinson, author of Fault Lines in the Constitution

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250205650
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Publication date: 10/06/2020
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 328,879
File size: 54 MB
Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range: 12 - 18 Years

About the Author

Kenneth C. Davis is the New York Times–bestselling author of America’s Hidden History and Don’t Know Much About® History, which gave rise to the Don’t Know Much About® series of books for adults and children. He is also the author of the critically acclaimed In the Shadow of Liberty, which was an ALA Notable Book and a finalist for the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction, as well as More Deadly Than War, which was named a Washington Post Best Children's Book of the Month. A frequent guest on national television and radio and a Ted-Ed Educator, Davis lives in New York City.
Kenneth C. Davis is the New York Times bestselling author of America’s Hidden History and Don’t Know Much About® History, which gave rise to the Don’t Know Much About® series of books for adults and children. A frequent guest on national television and radio and a Ted-Ed Educator, Davis enjoys Skype visits with middle- and high-school classrooms to discuss history. He lives in New York City.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Dictators, Despots, and Democracy vii

Chapter 1 Democracy in Flames 1

Time Line of Democracy-From Athens to 1918 14

Chapter 2 "Let Arms Yield to the Toga"-A Brief History of Democracy 17

Time Line-The Life of Benito Mussolini 43

Chapter 3 "Believe, Obey, and Fight"-The Story of Benito Mussolini 45

Time Line-The Life of Adolf Hitler 78

Chapter 4 The Big Lie-The Story of Adolf Hitler 81

Time Line-The Life of Joseph Stalin 118

Chapter 5 Man of Steel-The Story of Joseph Stalin 121

Time Line-The Life of Mao Zedong 147

Chapter 6 The Long March-The Story of Mao Zedong 149

Time Line-The Life of Saddam Hussein 181

Chapter 7 Stalin on the Tigris-The Story of Saddam Hussein 183

Chapter 8 Never Again?-A New Generation of Monsters 205

Acknowledgments 223

Bibliography 227

Notes 234

Index 244

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