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History's Worst Dictators: A Short Guide to the Most Brutal Rulers, From Emperor Nero to Ivan the Terrible

History's Worst Dictators: A Short Guide to the Most Brutal Rulers, From Emperor Nero to Ivan the Terrible [Kindle Edition]

Michael Rank
2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Description

Product Description

Buy this book, get 2 free - A $9.99 value!

Buy "History's Worst Dictators" and you will receive a free 2-book boxed set that contains "The History of Alexander the Great" and Mythology Stories: Tales from Norse, Old German, Hindu, and Egyptian Mythology." See the link for these ebooks inside.


Nasty, brutish, and short.

This is the way English philosopher Thomas Hobbes described the living conditions into which humans inevitably fall without a strong, central authority. However, Hobbes would agree that living under a brutal dictator could lead to the same conditions. He would know -- he lived a century after the bloody reign of Henry VIII, 150 years after Spanish conquistadors witnessed Montezuma II offering up thousands of human sacrifices, and four centuries after Genghis Khan rode throughout Eurasia and left behind enough death and destruction to depopulate major parts of the globe.

This exciting new book from historian Michael Rank looks at the lives and times of the worst dictators in history. You will learn about their reigns and violent actions, such as...

- Emperor Nero's murder of family members, suspected arson of Rome, and widespread execution of religious minorities, which caused many early Christians to believe that he was the Antichrist

- Herod the Great's use of crowd slaughter, family killings, and even infanticide to hold on to his rule

- Genghis Khan's military conquests that killed tens of millions and caused millions more to flee their homes in fear, resulting in forests reclaiming abandoned farmland and carbon levels plummeting, actually creating man-made global cooling

- Vlad the Impaler (also known as Vlad Dracul, the namesake of the vampire) and his use of impalement to kill more than 20,000 victims, even causing a superior army turn around and avoid fighting him when they witnessed his carnage

These four leaders and six others from ancient, medieval, and early modern history fill this book. Learn about how they earned their reputation as the worst dictators in history and why they are so infamous in popular culture today.

About the Author

Michael Rank is a historian of the Middle East and a former journalist. He is the author of the Kindle #1 best-seller "From Muhammed to Burj Khalifa: A Crash-Course in 2,000 Years of Middle East History" and "History's Worst Dictators: A Short Guide to the Most Brutal Rulers, From Emperor Nero to Ivan the Terrible." He blogs about history, religion, society, and culture at the website You can connect with him there, and he would love it if you did.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1242 KB
  • Print Length: 96 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Five Minute Books (9 Dec 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BIR325Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #275,907 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The book tries to cover too much ground and ends up giving a very short synopsis of each dictatorI would have preferred a much deeper insight into the individuals.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  25 reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars History As It Ought To Be Told 26 Feb 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Perhaps there is some place in society for the dry, boring history books of academic stereotype, but there is a much more important place for history like it is told by Michael Rank in both this and his other books. His historical writings are enriching candy for the mind and imagination.

For children (well, screen this one for your sensitive children!) and adults, this book entertains, teaches, and takes one out of one's own time and place by deftly diving into the meat of these fascinating if terrifying men of history. Appropriate background is given for each dictators as well as the broader historical impulses leading them to commit their incredible evil deeds.

Each chapter wows one's imagination with what depth of destruction has proceeded from the heart of men, and especially men in power.

I would be interested in another book in this series detail the world best leaders, if there are any!

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars History doesn't have to be boring. 5 April 2013
By Gregory Smith - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read for entertainment, and your book allowed me to learn about terrible dictators without being bored. I think my favorite was that tyrant from Turkmenistan, he was so creative! Imagine writing a book and making an entire country read it while banning other books! Damn that guy was an egomaniac. In fact, I think you could write an entire book about him. Good job!
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Concise and Compulsively Readable 23 Feb 2013
By Nathaniel - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
I received this book as a gift, and while I meant to just skim through the introduction and the first chapter or two at first, I wound up reading the entire book in a single sitting. This book gives a concise and entertaining (if one may use that word in reference to this facet of history) introduction to a number of history's most barbaric rulers. I now know more than I did before, and I consider my time reading it well-spent; if there is higher praise to be bestowed on any piece of nonfiction, I would like to know what it is.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This is not really a book but a pamphlet 30 July 2013
By Smarty - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This does not qualify as a book. It has very wide margins and large type and still is very short. Not much substance.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Refresher Course! 5 Mar 2013
By new mom - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Michael Rank writes clearly and concisely. Each of his books has been broken down into short chapters. Large chunks could be read in a sitting or the book could easily be read over the course of a month catching a short chapter a day on the bus or train.

While history can sometimes be a dry subject, Rank captures the imagination by whisking the reader into the narrative. The chapters are short enough that you fall into a rhythm as you read that pushes you from leader to leader. While there is some depth of detail, the intent is generally to provide an overview. This was a very enjoyable book to read.
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