Great Leaders, Great Tyrants? Contemporary Views of World Rulers Who Made History


Can a political leader be effective without being tyrannical? Most biographies tend to treat the tyrannical aspect of a great leader's career as a contradiction to be minimized. This book examines both the creative and tyrannical aspects as the anticipated consequences of the exercise of power. Biographical profiles of 52 major world leaders throughout history feature pro/con essays reflecting contemporary views of the creative and tyrannical aspects of their record. Coverage is global, from Indira Gandhi to Fidel Castro, and spans history from the Egyptian king Akhenaton to Mikhail Gorbachev. Among the leaders profiled are Otto von Bismarck, Oliver Cromwell, Charles de Gaulle, Elizabeth I, Ho Chi Minh, Lenin, Louis XIV, Mao Zedong, Napoleon I, Kwame Nkrumah, Juan Peron, and Tito. All biographies are written by subject specialists. This work encourages critical thinking and debate about the exercise of power.

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Westport, CT
Publication year:
  • 1995


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