Stark Raving Rulers

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Twenty minor despots of the twenty-first century

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Stark Raving Rulers is a series of profiles of twenty of the world’s most ruthless dictators.


In many forgotten or ignored parts of the world, there are still men who have inherited entire countries from their families, or blatantly rig elections to stay in power. Like latter-day Roman Emperors, they rule according to their whim.

 

  • Uzbekistan, where political opponents are boiled to death.
  • Cameroon, where the President intervenes in the national football team selection.
  • Belarus, where rather than divorce his wife, the President had her arrested. 
  • North Korea, where Kim Il-sung is still President – despite the fact that he’s been dead for ten years.
  • Mauritania, where slavery is still widely practised.
  • Equatorial Guinea, where the President claims to be in permanent contact with God.
  • Turkmenistan,where the President re-named Tuesday after his mother.
  • Libya, where Colonel al-Qadhafi threw five million dollars out the window of his car.



All of them are fascinating characters. While they all share a ruthlessness, their personalities differ wildly: from the coldly messianic to the downright bizarre.

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Stark Raving Rulers

Stark Raving Rulers

Twenty minor despots of the twenty-first century

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