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The Desktop Digest of Despots and Dictators

An A to Z of Tyranny

Illustrated by Steve Krakow
Published by Skyhorse
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

About The Book

The Desktop Digest of Dictators and Despots is a compendium and quick reference guide to history’s most notorious absolutist rulers and authoritarian regimes. In a handsome hardcover format, this handy encyclopedia of totalitarians is as informative as it is titillating, a lurid panorama of history’s most malignant autarchs with original full-color portraits and accompanying psychobiographical profiles. From pharaohs to ayatollahs, from Caesar to Hitler, here are fifty-three profiles of history’s most warped personalities and their shocking crimes.  

  • Roman Emperor Nero, who lit the roads to the Coliseum’s night games by lining them with human torches made of the burning bodies of crucified Christians
  • Alfredo Stroessner, under whose administration Paraguay offered comfortable refuge to former Nazis while rifle-toting “sportsmen” flocked to the countryside on weekends to legally hunt Indians 
  • Idi Amin, the dictator of Uganda, where power outages at the capitol were a routine occurrence because the sluiceways at the nearby hydroelectric dam were clogged with the bodies of so many citizens executed in his torture cells that the pampered local disposal team—the crocodiles—couldn’t eat them fast enough  
The horrifying pageant of tyranny has trailed in its wake a vicious train of exploitation, intolerance and oppression—war, conquest, subjugation, slavery, imprisonment, torture and execution—which continues unabated to the present day. Dictators never disappoint when it comes to proving that absolute power corrupts absolutely. This is the perfect handbook for educators, armchair historians, and pop-culture pundits.  

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Product Details

  • Publisher: Skyhorse (January 2, 2013)
  • Length: 224 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781616088309

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Raves and Reviews

"An improbably fun compendium of the world’s worst." New York Daily News

"Informative and entertaining." Booklist

"An improbably fun compendium of the world’s worst." New York Daily News

"Informative and entertaining." Booklist

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More books from this author: Gilbert Alter-Gilbert