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Apr 20, 2011

How Do You Know Dictators are Bad? They've Written Terrible Books!

I mean, I guess it makes sense: The kind of person who violently claws and maims one's way to evil autocracy is likely the kind of person who can get themselves published.

And by "published," I mean, write a really terrible book and get it printed. Name a despot, and dude's got a book. A bad one.

  • Muammar al-Gaddafi - Hallucinogenic stream of consciousness
  • Saddam Hussein - erotic allegorical fiction
  • Kim Jong Il - revolutionary film criticism
  • Joseph Stalin - Georgian pastoral odes
  • Ayatollah Khomeini - Persian mystical poetry

And the list goes on and on. Weird, right?Suzanne Merkelson has assembled a fascinating roundup for ForeignPolicy.com. "From suicidal astronauts to bestiality, you can learn a lot about what makes the world's worst tyrants tick from the terrible books they write."

Bad Politics, Worse Prose [ForeignPolicy.com]

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