The Desktop Digest of Despots and Dictators: An A to Z of Tyranny

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Skyhorse Publishing Company, Incorporated, 2013 - Biography & Autobiography - 208 pages
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The DesktopDigest of Dictators and Despots is a compendium and quick referenceguide to history’s most notorious absolutist rulers and authoritarian regimes. Ina handsome hardcover format, this handy encyclopedia of totalitarians is asinformative as it is titillating, a lurid panorama of history’s most malignantautarchs with original full-color portraits and accompanying psychobiographicalprofiles. From pharaohs to ayatollahs, from Caesar to Hitler, here are fifty-threeprofiles 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 
Thehorrifying pageant of tyranny has trailed in its wake a vicious train ofexploitation, intolerance and oppression—war, conquest, subjugation, slavery,imprisonment, torture and execution—which continues unabated to the presentday. Dictators never disappoint when it comes to proving that absolute powercorrupts absolutely. This is the perfect handbook for educators, armchairhistorians, and pop-culture pundits. 

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About the author (2013)

Gilbert Alter-Gilbert is a critic, translator, and literary historian whose recent publications include the grim anthology Life and Limb and an English-language edition of Vicente Huidobro's Manifestos Manifest. An "experimental classicist", Alter-Gilbert is an inveterate practitioner of fictive history, a genre pioneered by such illustrious forebears as Marcel Schwob and Raymond Roussel.

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