Synopses & Reviews
The Desktop Digest of Dictators and Despots is a compendium and quick reference guide to historys 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 historys 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 historys most warped personalities and their shocking crimes.
- Roman Emperor Nero, who lit the roads to the Coliseums 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—couldnt 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.
"An improbably fun compendium of the worlds worst." New York Daily News
"Informative and entertaining." Booklist
A quick reference guide to history's most notorious absolutist rulers and authoritarian regimes.
About the Author
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.Steve Krakow, a.k.a. Plastic Crimewave, is the creator of the Galactic Zoo Dossier, a hand-drawn psychedelic culture mag published by Drag City, as well as numerous album covers, posters, and illustrations for labels like Drag City, Locust, and Birdman. Krakow is also the creator of the Chicago Reader comic/info-strip The Secret History of Chicago Music, and his freelance includes writing and art for Arthur, Stop Smiling, Roctober, Signal To Noise, and Time Out Chicago. Krakow has profiled in LA Weekly, Mojo, Magnet, SPIN, Blackbook, Fader, Stop Smiling, and the Chicago Reader. Krakow also plays in bands and has toured internationally for nearly twenty years.