The Tyrants

Written by Clive Foss
Review by Sally Zigmond

This large-format hardback is an anthology of fifty of the most autocratic leaders the world has known. All the usual suspects are here. The modern: Hitler, Mussolini, Saddam Hussein, and the ancient: Herod, Caligula and Genghis Khan. I felt, however, that in order to achieve a round number several people are included who I would prefer to call ‘autocrats’ rather than ‘tyrants’, such as Oliver Cromwell. After all, without democracy all leaders are autocratic to a certain degree. To be fair, the author’s introduction makes this clear, but a different title would have been less misleading.

However, each entry is clear and concise, but it would have been useful to have a bibliography to show source material and to point to further reading.