"Dictator Style" is so repulsive you can't look away. This insight into the homes of some of the most evil men and women of the twentieth century reveals depravity, a ghastly lack of taste, and a glimpse into their lives.
Common themes from a century of dictators are discussed up front. Gold, glass, marble, and 'larger than life' are the essentials. Other influences, are mentioned, but these stuck with me. Looking at the themes common to all the homes profiled, I was put in mind of pictures of Graceland, a Trump casino, or the home of someone who came into money entirely too quickly. As I write, I see that this is redundant.
Imagery from the homes of Mobuto, Ceachescu, Saddam Hussein, Milosovic, Tito, Hitler, The Marcoses, Noreiga, and others, along with discussions of the... design decisions, provides a window into the minds of people who sought out absolute power. Milosovic's home struck me as the most tasteful (overdone for my tastes, but to each his own), without the insane overstatement of many of the others. He stood on the cusp between what appeared to be an 'old school' of over-doing European palaces, and the new school of just over-doing everything. Mobuto was amazing, creating a Chinese palace in Africa. Of course, Saddam Hussein took the cake with his dozens of palaces, in the most hideous taste. Even more interesting was that he routinely retired to very modest quarters.
The snapshots of how these people chose to live are disturbing, pathetic, and tacky all at once. The taste displayed is utterly repulsive, but the people behind the images are so facinating that (in a repulsive way) you can't turn away.