Modern Tyrants

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Free Press, Feb 7, 1994 - History - 496 pages
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Along with its much vaunted progress in scientific and economic realms, our century has witnessed the rise of the most brutal and oppressive regimes in the history of mankind. Even with the collapse of Marxism, current references to “ethnic cleansing” remind us that tyranny persists in our own age and shows no sign of abating. Daniel Chirot offers an important and timely study of modern tyrants, both revealing the forces which allow them to come to power and helping us to predict where they may arise in the future.

Tyrannical rule typically begins in an economically depressed and unstable society with no real tradition of democratic government. Under such circumstances, a self-pitying nationalism often arises along with a widespread popular perception among the citizenry that grave injustices have been committed against them. When a charismatic leader is able to exploit this situation, he may sanction unspeakable atrocities while claiming to uphold cherished national myths.

Chriot analyzes the careers and characters of notorious dictators such as Stalin, Hitler, Mao, and Saddam, as well as lesser known tyrants such as Kim II Sung of North Korea, Ne Win of Burma, Argentina’s Peron, the Dominican Republic’s Trujillo, Pol Pot, Duvalier, and others. He demonstrates how they can survive the rise and fall of particular ideologies and reveals the frightening new marriages between nationalism and a host of local concerns. The lesson drawn is stark and disturbing: the age of modern tyranny is upon us, and unlikely to fade soon.

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Modern tyrants: the power and prevalence of evil in our age

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

An intriguing but somewhat uneven work, Chirot's study is at its best in the preliminary chapters and concluding comments on the nature of tyrants and tyranny. As the author notes, the subject has not ... Read full review

Review: Modern Tyrants: The Power and Prevalence of Evil in Our Age

User Review  - Lindsay - Goodreads

Wouldn't be a bad work, except for the fact that I totally disagree with his categorization of modern typologies. I mean, *come on*, totalitarianism is *completely* different that our classical understanding of dictatorship. Really. Read full review

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About the author (1994)

Daniel Chirot is the Job and Gertrud Tamaki Professor of International Studies and of Sociology at the University of Washington in Seattle. His most recent book is called "Contested Identities: Ethnic, Religious, and" "Nationalist Conflicts in Today s World "and was recently published by Routledge. He is the author of "Modern Tyrants", published by Princeton University Press, and the co-author, with Clark McCauley, of "Why Not" "Kill Them All? The Logic and Prevention of Mass Political Murder", also published by Princeton. He has written several books about global social change and has authored as well as edited other books about economic history, ethnic conflict, and international politics. Chirot has served as a consultant for various foundations and NGOS working in Eastern Europe and West Africa. His research and writing has been helped by grants from, among others, the United States Institute of Peace, the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. He has a BA from Harvard University in Social Studies and a PhD in Sociology from Columbia University.

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