Tyrants have enormous egos; some even believe they are gods. Cromwell and Franco were convinced God was on their side. Many more like Stalin build personality cults that elevated them to superhuman status. Most tyrants exhibit extremely bizarre behaviour. The Aztec rulers tore out the hearts of their captives and sacrificed them to the sun; Ivan the Terrible beat his own son to death; Tamerlane built the heads of the vanquished into pyramids. Royal birth used to be the fast-track to autocracy, but modern tyrants usually rise through the military or politics using a mixture of coercion and corruption. Napoleon commanded armies before he became a dictator. Politicians like Hitler campaigned and won landslide elections. Lenin and Khomeini came to power through revolution. Once in power they usually end up murdering their own people, combining intimidation and violence to exert control. Most leave the country in catastrophic ruins.
From Julius Caesar and Caligula to Napoleon and Hitler, from Cesare Borgia and Ivan the Terrible to Idi Amin and Saddam Hussein, this book comprises over 100 compelling profiles of the world's most evil tyrants whose bloody fingerprints are permanently ingrained across the pages of history. Contents EARLY TYRANTS Julius Caesar; Herrod the Great, Caligula, Nero, Commodus, Wu Zetian, Al Hakim. TYRANTS OF THE MIDDLE AGES King John, Genghis Khan, Tamerlane, Vlad the Impaler, Cesare Borgia, Ivan the Terrible, Oliver Cromwell. NINETEENTH CENTURY TYRANTS Robespierre, Napoleon, Francia, Shaka Zulu Mutesa, Lopez Leopold II, Kaiser Wilhelm, Abdul Hamid. MODERN DAY TYRANTS Lenin, Mussolini, Stalin, Hitler, Franco, Kim Il Sung Peron, Mao Zedong, Duvalier, Ceausescu, Bokassa, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Pinochet, Haile Mengistu, Ayatollah Khomeini, Saddam Hussein, Milosevic.