Thursday, June 7, 2018

Five books that get inside the minds of dictators

Daniel Kalder is the author of The Infernal Library: On Dictators, the Books They Wrote, and Other Catastrophes of Literacy.

One of his five top books that get inside the minds of dictators, as shared at the Guardian:
Simon Leys’ Chinese Shadows has just over 200 elegantly written pages, and yet cuts to the heart of Mao’s Cultural Revolution with precision. Leys exposed the destructive evil of Mao’s regime at a time when “useful idiots” ranging from Jean-Paul Sartre to Shirley MacLaine were singing its praises in the west. His narrative fuses insights from his own travels in China with profound but lightly worn erudition. One moment Leys is discussing Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse‑tung, the next he is reaching back to its 14th‑century precursor, the Ming Ta kao.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue