This book explores the changing evolution of memory debates on places intimately linked to the lives and deaths of different fascist, para-fascist and communist dictators in a truly transnational and comparative way. During the second decade of the twenty-first century, a number of parallel debates arose in Italy, Spain, Portugal, Albania, Austria and other European countries regarding the public management by democratic regimes of those sites of memory that were directly linked to the personal biographies of their former dictators. The ways in which each democracy deals with the dead bodies, mausoleums and birthplaces of the dictators vary considerably, although common questions occur, such as whether oblivion or re-signification is better, the risk of a posthumous cult of personality being established and the extent to which the shadow of the authoritarian past endures in these sites of memory. Using the concept of "sites of the dictators", the author explains why it is so difficult to deal with some sites of memory linked to dead autocrats, as those places contribute directly or indirectly to humanizing them, making their remembrance more acceptable for the present and future generations, and discusses the potential of the "Europeanization" of these "dark" memories of the past. Exploring the imperatives of memory politics and how these are reconciled with local actors interested in exploiting the dictator’s remembrance, this book will be useful reading for students and scholars of history, politics and memory studies.
This author's analytical approach will be appreciated by historians as well as film buffs. He examines Hollywood's response to the rise of fascism and the beginning of the Second World War. Welky traces the shifting motivations and arguments of the film industry, politicians, and the public as they negotiated how or whether the silver screen would portray certain wartime attributes.
"A book of great importance; it surpasses all others in breadth and depth."--Commentary If the past century will be remembered for its tragic pairing of civilized achievement and organized destruction, at the heart of darkness may be found Hitler, Stalin, and the systems of domination they forged. Their lethal regimes murdered millions and fought a massive, deadly war. Yet their dictatorships took shape within formal constitutional structures and drew the support of the German and Russian people. In the first major historical work to analyze the two dictatorships together in depth, Richard Overy gives us an absorbing study of Hitler and Stalin, ranging from their private and public selves, their ascents to power and consolidation of absolute rule, to their waging of massive war and creation of far-flung empires of camps and prisons. The Nazi extermination camps and the vast Soviet Gulag represent the two dictatorships in their most inhuman form. Overy shows us the human and historical roots of these evils.
The United Fruit Company (UFCO) developed an unprecedented relationship with Guatemala in the first half of this century. By 1944, UFCO owned 566,000 acres, employed 20,000 people, and operated 96% of Guatemala's 719 miles of railroad, making the multinational corporation Guatemala's largest private landowner and biggest employer. In Doing Business with the Dictators, Paul J. Dosal shows how UFCO built up a profitable corporation in a country whose political system was known to be corrupt. His work is based largely on research of company documents recently acquired from the Justice Department under the Freedom of Information Act-no other historian researching this topic has looked at these sources. As a result, Dr. Dosal is able to offer the first documentary evidence of how UFCO acquired, defended, and exploited its Guatemalan properties by collaborating with successive authoritarian regimes.
This book examines the representation of dictators and dictatorships in African fiction. It examines how the texts clarify the origins of postcolonial dictatorships and explore the shape of the democratic-egalitarian alternatives. The first chapter explains the ‘neoliberal’ period after the 1970s as an effective ‘recolonization’ of Africa by Western states and international financial institutions. Dictatorship is theorised as a form of concentrated economic and political power that facilitates Africa’s continued dependency in the context of world capitalism. The deepest aspiration of anti-colonial revolution remains the democratization of these authoritarian states inherited from the colonial period. This book discusses four novels by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Ahmadou Kourouma, Chinua Achebe and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in order to reveal how their themes and forms dramatize this unfinished struggle between dictatorship and radical democracy.
In the late nineteenth and twentieth century, with the disappearance of monarchies in many parts of the world, a new autocratic system emerged – the dictatorship, in which all power over a state or community was again concentrated into the hands of one person, without being restricted by constitution, laws or opposition. The individual with this kind of absolute authority was known as the dictator. Here are the twenty dictators of modern times whose actions have left a strong imprint on destiny of the country they ruled, and sometimes even influenced the very history of the world. More often though, dictators rose to the power by leading a coup d’état, in which often a weak monarch of government was deposed and instead a dictatorship established. A nice read book to deep into history.
How a new breed of dictators holds power by manipulating information and faking democracy Hitler, Stalin, and Mao ruled through violence, fear, and ideology. But in recent decades a new breed of media-savvy strongmen has been redesigning authoritarian rule for a more sophisticated, globally connected world. In place of overt, mass repression, rulers such as Vladimir Putin, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Viktor Orbán control their citizens by distorting information and simulating democratic procedures. Like spin doctors in democracies, they spin the news to engineer support. Uncovering this new brand of authoritarianism, Sergei Guriev and Daniel Treisman explain the rise of such “spin dictators,” describing how they emerge and operate, the new threats they pose, and how democracies should respond. Spin Dictators traces how leaders such as Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew and Peru’s Alberto Fujimori pioneered less violent, more covert, and more effective methods of monopolizing power. They cultivated an image of competence, concealed censorship, and used democratic institutions to undermine democracy, all while increasing international engagement for financial and reputational benefits. The book reveals why most of today’s authoritarians are spin dictators—and how they differ from the remaining “fear dictators” such as Kim Jong-un and Bashar al-Assad, as well as from masters of high-tech repression like Xi Jinping. Offering incisive portraits of today’s authoritarian leaders, Spin Dictators explains some of the great political puzzles of our time—from how dictators can survive in an age of growing modernity to the disturbing convergence and mutual sympathy between dictators and populists like Donald Trump.
This book offers a new perspective on authoritarian politics. Rather than the leadership of the authoritarian political systems being always characterized by arbitrariness, fear, and struggle for power, this book argues that politics of such regimes are structured by a series of rules which bring some consistency and predictability.
Focusing on portrayals of Mussolini's Italy, Hitler's Germany, and Stalin's Russia in U.S. films, magazine and newspaper articles, books, plays, speeches, and other texts, Benjamin Alpers traces changing American understandings of dictatorship from the late 1920s through the early years of the Cold War. During the early 1930s, most Americans' conception of dictatorship focused on the dictator. Whether viewed as heroic or horrific, the dictator was represented as a figure of great, masculine power and effectiveness. As the Great Depression gripped the United States, a few people--including conservative members of the press and some Hollywood filmmakers--even dared to suggest that dictatorship might be the answer to America's social problems. In the late 1930s, American explanations of dictatorship shifted focus from individual leaders to the movements that empowered them. Totalitarianism became the image against which a view of democracy emphasizing tolerance and pluralism and disparaging mass movements developed. First used to describe dictatorships of both right and left, the term "totalitarianism" fell out of use upon the U.S. entry into World War II. With the war's end and the collapse of the U.S.-Soviet alliance, however, concerns about totalitarianism lay the foundation for the emerging Cold War.
In order to truly understand the emergence, endurance, and legacy of autocracy, this volume of engaging essays explores how autocratic power is acquired, exercised, and transferred or abruptly ended through the careers and politics of influential figures in more than 20 countries and six regions. The book looks at both traditional "hard" dictators, such as Hitler, Stalin, and Mao, and more modern "soft" or populist autocrats, who are in the process of transforming once fully democratic countries into autocratic states, including Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Turkey, Brazilian leader Jair Bolsonaro, Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines, Narendra Modi in India, and Viktor Orbán in Hungary. The authors touch on a wide range of autocratic and dictatorial figures in the past and present, including present-day autocrats, such as Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping, military leaders, and democratic leaders with authoritarian aspirations. They analyze the transition of selected autocrats from democratic or benign semi-democratic systems to harsher forms of autocracy, with either quite disastrous or more successful outcomes. An ideal reader for students and scholars, as well as the general public, interested in international affairs, leadership studies, contemporary history and politics, global studies, security studies, economics, psychology, and behavioral studies.