Children of Monsters: An Inquiry into the Sons and Daughters of Dictators

Children of Monsters An Inquiry into the Sons and Daughters of Dictators What s it like to be the son or daughter of a dictator A monster on the Stalin level What s it like to bear a name synonymous with oppression terror and evil Jay Nordlinger set out to answer that qu

  • Title: Children of Monsters: An Inquiry into the Sons and Daughters of Dictators
  • Author: Jay Nordlinger
  • ISBN: 9781594038150
  • Page: 100
  • Format: Hardcover
  • What s it like to be the son or daughter of a dictator A monster on the Stalin level What s it like to bear a name synonymous with oppression, terror, and evil Jay Nordlinger set out to answer that question, and does so in this book He surveys 20 dictators in all They are the worst of the worst Stalin, Mao, Idi Amin, Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein, and so on The book is notWhat s it like to be the son or daughter of a dictator A monster on the Stalin level What s it like to bear a name synonymous with oppression, terror, and evil Jay Nordlinger set out to answer that question, and does so in this book He surveys 20 dictators in all They are the worst of the worst Stalin, Mao, Idi Amin, Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein, and so on The book is not about them, really, though of course they figure in it It s about their children.Some of them are absolute loyalists They admire, revere, or worship their father Some of them actually succeed their father as dictator as in North Korea, Syria, and Haiti Some of them have doubts A couple of them become full blown dissenters, even defectors A few of the daughters have the experience of having their husband killed by their father Most of these children are rocked by war, prison, exile, or other upheaval.Obviously, the children have things in common But they are also individuals, making of life what they can The main thing they have in common is this They have been dealt a very, very unusual hand.What would you do, if you were the offspring of an infamous dictator, who lords it over your country An early reader of this book said, There s an opera on every page a drama, a tragedy or even a comedy Another reader said he had read the chapter on Bokassa with my eyes on stalks Meet these characters for yourself Marvel, shudder, and ponder.

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      Published :2019-02-23T17:39:16+00:00

    1 thought on “Children of Monsters: An Inquiry into the Sons and Daughters of Dictators”

    1. short - 20 dictators and their families in about 300 odd pages - but entertaining and well researched; the one part I am quite familiar (the Ceausescus and their 3 children) with was remarkably well done in the allotted 15 pages - sure some nuance was lost (Nicu's reputation was a bit exaggerated, most likely by intention and Zoe's tribulations were somewhat understated), but all in all, very well donerecommended for a fast and informative read

    2. I like this book a lot. It was a good bus book, because it was broken up well to read a little at a time. It claims to be a psychological inquiry, but I think that's a bit of a stretch. He does go into some comparisons and hypotheses about the different outcomes of the children, but there wasn't much psychological theory put up against these stories. But what stories they were! He was meticulous in documenting as much as he could about this elusive group of people and giving thorough accounting [...]

    3. This is a fascinating read! Eye-openingought-provokingd stimulating. I feel compelled to discuss this book with everyone I meet!

    4. Jay Nordlinger deals with one of the most complex questions of all time in his book, Children of Monsters: An Inquiry into the Sons and Daughters of Dictators. As he phrased it in the forward of his book, “I wondered what it must be like to be the son or daughter of Hoxha. To bear a name synonymous with oppression, murder, terror, and evil.” Essentially, it is a question of nature vs nurture. Why there is evil, how it continues, and why despite the upbringing and indoctrination of evil, ther [...]

    5. I wanted to like this book because I'm intrigued by the premise: what would it be like to have been raised by a monster/despot/dictator/brutal disaster?Miserable, obviously, but after an overview of the children of 20th century horrors, I expected Nordlinger to draw some sort of conclusion.If he did, it was so obvious I overlooked it in my haste to be done with this book.Part of the problem, frankly, was the writing. It meandered, backtracked, and didn't stay linear--just tell the story, draw so [...]

    6. Nordlinger has hit on a formula for his books beginning with his history of the Nobel Peace Prize. He uses biographies to tell a compelling story and weave an arc through the historical narrative. Each chapter of this book is a portrait of a dictator and his children and ultimately builds a case for a hand full of psychological profiles of the children (and in some instances grandchildren) of dictators. Nordlinger writes in a very conversational style that is very easy to read. It is not journal [...]

    7. I really liked the idea of this book but thought the execution was a little lacking. Some of that wasn't the author's fault since, as he points out (and as I hadn't really thought of beforehand), dictators' regimes aren't exactly known for being the most open with information. But some of the writing in this book was just so clunky! Still an interesting read though.

    8. I was hoping for something that posited some theories about how being raised in the unique circumstances of being progeny of a despotic ruler impacts a child's development and outcomes. This was more an short biography of the sons and daughters of famous dictators over the past century chapter by chapter, with very little in the way of insight into the themes and commonalities between various children across circumstances. While there is a brief segment at the end where the author makes a very s [...]

    9. Interesting book about the children of dictators, (all men, naturally) and how they fare or fared; everyone from Hitler, (did he sire a child in France during World War I? Some thought so) to Stalin to Pol Pot and other developing world dictators. Most of them, frankly, are not very interesting people. They can be divided up into the "successors" like Kim Jong Il and Kim Jong Un, the "deplorables" like Saddam's two sons, the "normals", (not many of those; Pol Pot's daughter turned out o.k.) and [...]

    10. Read 2 chapters and quit. It reads like a history book,which i am not into. Borrowed it from a friend and passed it on. Not for me.

    11. A look at the children of 20 dictators; how did having a 'monster' as a father affect them. Interesting, but sometimes chilling, read.

    12. Entertaining read but it needs an editor really badly.Edit: cleaned up a typo. Should practice what I preach, haha.

    13. I really liked the writing style of this book, probably even more than the content. Nordlinger has a very casual way of communicating with the reader, and throws in some occasional (usually dark) humor as well.His mission, as he lays out in the introduction, is to examine the children and grandchildren of 20 dictators that rule or ruled in the 19th and 20th centuries. He explains that many of these people are shrouded in mystery, so some of his research has holes, but overall, I found it very in [...]

    14. I read this book because of the author, Jay Nordlinger. He does not write uninteresting stuff. I first ran across his work in National Review. This caused me to establish an email folder where I store writings he shares through blogs and emails. Anything he writes will be from a fresh approach and will incorporate a subtle and somewhat cutting sense of humor. An author that writes of the Nobel Peace Prize also writing a book with a title like Child of monsters at first inspired me to download th [...]

    15. Digestible with a chapter for each "monster" or dictator. A couple terrifically interesting questions emerge: if you're a dictator, how to raise your children? If you're a child of a dictator, how to regard your parent and the family dynasty? On a broader scale, it's not just about dictators but anyone with power.Now that I've finished this book, whenever one of these guys dies I immediately think about his family and children. The sheer novelty of this taboo topic makes this book a surprisingly [...]

    16. This was a fascinating insight into the families and children of twenty different "monsters" (dictators) of the last 100 years. Very meticulously researched and organized well, with dictators chosen from different geographical areas and political backgrounds. I was familiar with most of the dictators covered (I admit I didn't know a couple of those from the African continent), and this book makes for a good "primer" of sorts into the political history of some of these places.The author had a uni [...]

    17. The book is high-level account of evil's various offspring broken up into easily digestible chapters. I found this book as I was looking for details on the Marcos' children in the Philippines, both of which are still very active politically and of which, at the time I was looking, the eldest son very, very (cannot stress how close it was) nearly became vice president. The book did not cover the Marcos (his body count wasn't high enough to be included, though really, even one murder is one too ma [...]

    18. This is a completely compelling look into the private lives of dictators we regard as monstrous, and how their actions affected their children. It's filled with fascinating fun facts - like Stalin sniping that his son "couldn't even shoot straight" or that Mussolini's granddaughter posed for Playboy. Even if you're not a typical history buff, you'll want to share some of these tidbits with your friends for days or weeks to come. Oh, and if you're having problems with your parents, it'll put it i [...]

    19. Absolutely fascinating. As another review says, it's not really a psychological inquiry. It does however provide a lot of insight from governments where very little insight is allowed. At times I wished it was presented a little less conversational. However, since a lot of what we think we know about these dictators is conjecture and even more is hearsay, it almost makes sense for the writing to be a little gossipy. It was a very fast read. I read most in airplanes to and from vacation, then a m [...]

    20. Intriguing content but the writer had such an odd way of presenting material. He included a lot of somewhat flippant commentary as if he were in a conversation with a reader who was his friend and perhaps a somewhat stupid friend. Perhaps it was for levity but it never worked for me.I also wish he'd included a brief "bio" of each dictator because several of them I was unfamiliar with. You'd have to reach a couple pages to even discover the country of origin.

    21. This was a fascinating book. I've read a lot about dictators throughout history and I never noticed that you don't get much history about their kids, unless they go on to replace them. This book shines a spotlight on a whole range of kids from different times, countries and government types. The author had a good voice and brought up a lot of good thoughts.

    22. Excellent read. Though perhaps not as nuanced as it might have been, it's an interesting surface look at the children of monstrous people. You'd think they'd all idolize or reject their parents - sometimes it's one, sometimes it's the other, and sometimes it's that curious state in which they love their father, but hate what he did.

    23. This is a one of a kind book. It is the story of children of dictators. The children of the worst ones, Stalin, Mao, Idi Amin etc. Most of the children to my great surprise are loyal to their fathers and admire them. I would be horrified. A few of the daughters had their husbands killed by their father. These children grew up in war and upset.

    24. Absolutely fascinating. Really interesting to see how the children of some of the worst people in existence live their lives. It's interesting how some reconcile the idea of the father that they love being the same man who has committed horrible atrocities, or in some cases, refuse to come to terms with the notion. It's also great food for thought in the nature vs. nurture debate.

    25. A fascinating look at the children of some of history's most evil leaders. Jay Nordlinger is a fantastic writer who keeps you engaged through this catalog of sometimes sad and sometimes uplifting children of infamous leaders. Should children be held accountable for the sins of the parents? Obviously not, but in some cases, the apple doesn't fall from the tree.

    26. of course this is fascinating stuff! it's like historical gossip. despite the author's shlocky (?) writing, i found myself reading with a device at hand to find out more about these (adult) children's lives.

    27. This was an OK book, but it didn't seem to deliver on what I expected. The author gave lots of reasons why the "monsters" were monsters, but as the book went along, he seemed to have fewer and fewer details about some of the children of the monsters.

    28. Great premise but I would have liked a bit more background on the dictators themselves. Every chapter started with '(insert dictator name) had x number of children.' The writing is just flat sometimes - not my style.

    29. Nordlinger has an oddly meandering style, almost conversational, like listening in on a lecture from a beloved yet goofily absent-minded professor. The book is no less readable for it. Fascinating subject every story in here deserves its own book.

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