Strongman is a great book by author Kenneth C. Davis.
An impressive account of the origins of democracy, the history of authoritarianism, and the reigns of the five most dangerous dictators in history.
What causes a country to fall into the hands of a dictator? How did authoritarian leaders – the strong ones – capable of killing millions get their power? How can they defeat the democratic ideal? And what can we do to make sure it doesn’t happen again?
By profiling five of history’s most notoriously ruthless dictators – Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong and Saddam Hussein – Kenneth C. Davis seeks to answer these questions, examine the forces in the personal lives and historical periods of these dictators. shape the leaders they will become. Meticulously researched, Strongman provides insight into the lives of five leaders who ruthlessly transformed the world and served as an invaluable resource in itself in a time when Democracy is in jeopardy.
Strongman is a book that is both deeply researched and deeply felt, both an alarming warning and a powerful call to action, both daunting and necessary to read and discuss.
I teach about four of these five dictators for IBDP History. I won’t say there’s anything groundbreaking here but if you’re looking for a text that is accessible to MANY students in terms of readability, this is a good book [the purpose of the book] this book is not a supplementary textbook for IB, so the fact that it may not completely fit into that curriculum is not a criticism of this book at all].
What I like about this book is that it focuses on the fragility of democracy and how not only the actions of key individuals but the inaction of the society in which these individuals rise to power. power is just as important as the dictators themselves. It’s a call to warn today’s democracies, especially the United States, of how easily a Strongman can come to power in a country that might think they’re impervious. where in such a situation. We all have different backgrounds that create opportunities that an individual like these men can take advantage of.
This is a very readable article, but a very painful reminder of the state of current events in the United States. A Strongman was almost a hit in the US and we have to make sure we don’t allow this to happen again.
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