How to Be a Dictator: The Cult of Personality in the Twentieth Century

How to Be a Dictator: The Cult of Personality in the Twentieth Century

From the Samuel Johnson prize-winning author of Mao's Great Famine, a timely and compelling exploration of the cult of personality that surrounded eight twentieth century dictatorsMussolini, Hitler, Stalin, Mao Zedong, Kim Il-sung, Ceausescu, Mengistu of Ethiopia and Duvalier of Haiti.No dictator can rule through fear and violence alone. Naked power can be grabbed and held...

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Title:How to Be a Dictator: The Cult of Personality in the Twentieth Century
Author:Frank Dikötter
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How to Be a Dictator: The Cult of Personality in the Twentieth Century Reviews

  • Matt
    As a life-long student of political science and lover of history, I have always been fascinated about the world of authoritarian regimes, particularly those whose leaders roses from the ashes of a community in tatters. Frank Dikötter explores the position of dictators in his latest book, seeking ...
  • Georgiana Derwent
    I’ve always found dictators to be a fascinating topic. This book focusses on eight of them: Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Kim, Duvalier (“Papa Doc), Ceausescu and Mengistu. I suspect that, like me, most readers will be more familiar with some of the names on that list than others. It was...
  • Lou
    I want to begin by saying I am going to struggle to get across just how much I loved reading this timely, well-researched book as not only is it informative but it is absolutely fascinating too; it's not that often I have trouble putting a non-fiction book down, but I simply couldn't stop reading an...
  • Susan
    This is an interesting look at eight dictator’s from the twentieth century. Author Frank Dikötter admits that he could have chosen other names and it is more than a little worrying, when you think about how many contenders there could be. The dictators covered in this book are: Mussolini, Hi...
  • Laurence Westwood
    I have most of Frank Dikotters other books: his three books on the history of the People's Republic of China, the 'People's Trilogy', are masterpieces. This book is less ambitious, almost simple in construction. In essence, it is composed of potted biographies of eight 20th Century dictators, detail...
  • Tom
    Quite an accessible and easy read, the book highlights with depressing continuity the main features of dictatorships in the 20th Century, namely violent takeover of power, a nurturing of the cult of personality, extreme paranoia, excessive use of force to quell internal opposition as well as purges ...
  • Sara
    I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.How to Be a Dictator is a comprehensive look at what it goes into the development of dictatorships, and the various personality types that are more likely to become these types of leaders. As we see, there's a lot of differing variables...
  • Sadie
    Frank Dikötter throws a very special spotlight on eight cruel dictators who ruled in the 20th century. He presents not only biographical overviews on the lives and terror regimes of Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin, Mao Zedong, "Papa Doc" Duvalier, Kim Il-sung, Ceausescu and Mengistu of Ethiopia: He mai...

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