Print ISBN: 978-1-63700-444-9
# of Pages: 600
# of Volumes: 2
Print List Price: $225
e-ISBN: 978-1-63700-447-0
eBook User Price: $225
Free Online Access
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Great Lives from History: Autocrats & Dictators

February 2023

It remains a disconcerting fact that much of the world's history has been determined by autocrats and dictators—by rulers who gained and retained power with an iron fist and a ruthless disregard for the wishes of their people, and the views of the international community. Most people could readily list some of the world's most infamous dictators, particularly those of the twentieth century: Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Joseph Stalin, and Pol Pot. These volumes provide the reader with a more comprehensive survey of the men—mostly men, but a handful of women as well—who ruled their people with harsh, autocratic methods.

Entries document the lives and impact of numerous figures whose very names often inspired fear among their opponents and even among those who professed to support them:

  • Attila the Hun
  • Genghis Khan
  • Napoleon Buonaparte
  • Mao Zedong
  • Fidel Castro
  • Idi Amin
  • Kim Jong-il
  • Kim Jong-un
  • Saddam Hussein
  • Jean-Claude Duvalier
  • Vladimir Putin

Following the popular Great Lives from History format, each essay begins with a brief synopsis explaining the individual’s historical or social importance. The body of each essay is divided into several sections: “Early Life” provides facts about the individual’s upbringing and the environment in which they were reared. “Life’s Work” is a straightforward, chronological account of how the individual gained notoriety, emphasizing the most significant events in the figure’s life and career. “Significance” provides an overview of the individual’s place in history, and discusses why it is important to study this individual.

View a Full List of Titles from the Great Lives from History Series