Monsters: History's most evil men and women Paperback – 6 Aug 2009
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'Comprehensive, chilling and highly compelling' Daily Express. (Daily Express)
'Entertaining and informative. Full of offbeat, fascinating detail' Sunday Telegraph. (Sunday Telegraph)
'Compulsive reading' The Times. (The Times)
'Really catering to our appalled fascination with evil' Guardian. (Guardian)
From the Back Cover
Monsters is bestselling historian Simon Sebag Montefiore's selection of the most sinister characters and evil crimes of world history. Here are the cruel and murderous, the tyrannical and the treacherous - deranged emperors, blood-soaked conquerors, depraved cannibals, pitiless temptresses, ruthless inquisitors, revolutionary zealots. Monsters is a chronicle of human wickedness across the ages; the characters and crimes that everyone should know - and no one should forget.
Includes portraits of figures such as Jezebel, Caligula, Nero, Attila the Hun, Genghis Khan, Tamerlane, Vlad the Impaler, Ivan the Terrible, Lucrezia Borgia, Henry VIII, Jack the Ripper, Al Capone, Josef Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Mao Zedong, Pol Pot, Pablo Escobar, Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden.
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Top Customer Reviews
However, there is definitely reason to question some of the author's choice of monsters. I was surprised and disappointed that Lucrezia Borgia was listed as a monster, while her far more villainous (and therefore more interesting) father and brothers were given a mere mention. And call me a communist sympathiser, but why is Che Guevara listed as a 'Doc-tator' here, while notable ethnic cleansers like Muhammad and David ben Gurion are counted as heroes in the authors twin book?
Certain figures, such as Basil 'The Bulgar slayer' and Jezebel are included based on acts that have little to no evidence to prove their existence, while the crimes of others are very vaguely described.
Overall this book was certainly instrumental in my gaining interest in certain historical figures, but standing on its own it cannot be praised as much more than a vague compendium for morbid fascination.
However, I was very pleased to see that Richard's loyalty to his brother, Edward IV was highlighted, along with his reputation as an "able general and skilled administrator".
In this book, Richard III is in the company of some really evil people and yet a contemporary bishop, Thomas Langton, writing in 1483 wrote: "He contents the people wherever he goes... for many a poor man that suffered wrong has been helped by him... In many great cities and towns he refused great sums of money... God has sent him to us for the good of us all." This is hardly the description of a monster.
And for the benefit of a previous reviewer who doubted the existence of Sawney Bean and his cannibalistic family, there is more than ample evidence they were real - now read the book!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I did read this a couple of years ago as we had it in the house. The obvious candidates & some worse than others!Published 4 months ago by Lindsey Clare Gee-Turner
I read most of this book over a couple of days, and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it. Yes, it is lacking in detail - most of the 'monsters' are summed up in a page or two -... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
Very good and educational! One of the gems in my home library. Thank you!Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
If you read Titans and then bought, like I did, the Monsters and the Heroes of history, sabe on the investment. This book is a Split of the good people dealt with in Titans. Read morePublished on 15 May 2013 by P. Meulemeester
Magnificent book by Simon Sebag Montefiore covering all the major villains from history.He has marvellous isight into what made these guys tick. Read morePublished on 30 May 2012 by Mr. John Thompson