The World's Dictators

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photoSaddam Hussein is on the run. Charles Taylor has set himself a date to quit Liberia. Idi Amin lies in a coma in Saudi Arabia. Dictators are bowing out of the world stage. But even after the curtains come down, there are still those who applaud their bloody acts.

Minus the pomp and circumstance, a cow-towing press and an all-powerful cadre of enforcers, dictators and tyrants could just as well be your slightly strange next-door neighbor. So says Riccardo Orizio in his new book "Talk of the Devil: Encounters with Seven Dictators." He tracked down seven ex-dictators to hear the chilling stories of self-appointed demi-gods in disgrace.

How did these men transform themselves from idiosyncratic individuals to ruthless demagogues? Once at the top, how did they stay there? How did they fall, and why should we care?

Click the "Listen" link above to hear a conversation about why and how dictatorships arise and fall.


Riccardo Orizio, author, "Talk of the Devil: Encounters With Seven Dictators" and former CNN correspondent

Barry Rubin, editor, Middle East Review of International Affairs and author of "Modern Dictators: Third World Coup Makers, Strongmen, and Populist Tyrants".

This program aired on August 4, 2003.


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