HOW TO BE A DICTATOR by Frank Dikötter

9781408891629

Win a set of 10 exclusive early reading copies for your reading group!

Be among the first to read the new book by award winning historian Frank Dikötter.

To enter, please get in touch with the named contact below and let us know why your reading group would like copies to read, discuss and review.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Kim Il-sung, Ceausescu, Mengistu, Duvalier.

These are 8 of the most feared men of the 20th century. In How to be a Dictator, Samuel Johnson prize-winning historian, Frank Dikotter shows how these men gained and maintained power through the cult of personality.

No dictator can rule through fear and violence alone. Naked power can be grabbed and held temporarily, but it never suffices in the long term. A tyrant who can compel his own people to acclaim him will survive longer. The paradox of the modern dictator is that he must create the illusion of popular support.
Throughout the twentieth century, hundreds of millions of people were condemned to enthusiasm, obliged to hail their leaders even as they were herded down the road to serfdom. This compelling history returns to some of the most chillingly effective personality cults of the twentieth century by looking at each one of these eight figures. This timely study, told with great narrative verve, examines how the cult took hold, grew, and sustained itself, turning every person into a sycophant. It places the cult of personality where it belongs, at the very heart of tyranny.

We live in a time when the world stage is dominated by powerful personalities like Trump, Putin and Kim Jong-Un. An age of fake news and shock politics, which begs the question: is history repeating itself?

Let us know what you think of the book by tweeting @BloomsburyBooks and by leaving your reviews on Amazon, Goodreads and other online review sites.

News

National Reading Group Day 2019

This year, National Reading Group Day will take place on 15 June, and to celebrate we want you to tell us the books that inspire you to make a change in the world. Both fiction and non-fiction books can be an incredibly powerful way of encouraging us to take action and stand up for what we believe in, and we want to know which books get your group talking about the world and how you can make a difference.

Medium logo 2019
Resources

How to start a reading group

Interested in joining a reading group or starting one of your own? Download our quick guide to getting started.

Thumb reading between the wines with books  2
News

Hive and The Reading Agency

The Reading Agency loves books, in every form, and we know you do too. We love it when people borrow books in every format from their brilliant local libraries. We love it when reading groups get exclusive free proofs from our publisher partners. We love it when readers pick up a pre-loved book from a second-hand bookshop for a song. And we also love it when you buy yourself or someone else a brand new book from a high street bookshop. We also know that buying online is quick and convenient...

Medium hive