Thugs: How History's Most Notorious Despots Transformed the World Through Terror, Tyranny, and Mass Murder

Micah D. Halpern, Author Thomas Nelson Publishers $26.99 (350p) ISBN 978-1-59555-073-6
Not for the faint of heart, this volume examines the lives and dreadful reigns of 56 infamous characters, both current and long gone, who shaped history with mass horror. Written in short, easy-to-digest sentences, columnist and historian Halpern fills his brief sketches with colorful, terrible details in the manner of that rare, beloved history teacher whose lectures stir rapture in a nap-prone student body. Sit-up-and-take-notice lessons include the story of jealous King Herod, who not only had his wife murdered, but pickled her in honey ""to preserve her sweetness""; the dinner party of Idi Admin, who invited the families of men he had murdered to sit and eat surrounded by their relatives' decapitated heads; and the contributions Hitler made to hypothermia knowledge through heinous experiments on captive human beings (Halper notes that, with the possible exceptions of Amin and Pontius Pilate, even the ""totally, purely evil"" contribute some good). Readers with an interest in the more appalling side of history, and its lasting effects, will find much to appreciate here (and perhaps more to argue in the area of omissions, oversights and Halpern's assertion that ""Our freedom has become a foil against their evil"").
Reviewed on: 08/20/2007
Release date: 08/01/2007
Show other formats
FORMATS
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.