Dictators Strong or Weak?

R. J. B. Bosworth

in The Oxford Handbook of Fascism

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780199594788
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in History

 Dictators Strong or Weak?

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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After the defeat and deaths of Hitler and Mussolini in 1945, and the demise of Stalin in his bed in 1953, dictators became less omnipresent in Europe, although Portugal's Antonio de Oliveira Salazar, unusual in his trade as tyrant in being originally a pious professor of economics, did not die until 1970, and Franco lasted until 1975, while various communist and post-communist leaders continued to shore up their power, pursuing paths where Stalin once had led. Dictators have had a bad press in those countries that have remained tied to liberal democracy and have endorsed the values and hopes of the Enlightenment. Yet, in much of the rest of society, and notably in the celebrated fields of business and sport, ‘leadership’ is an ever-more-lauded quality or attainment.

Keywords: dictators; Adolf Hitler; liberal democracy; leadership; Stalin; Europe

Article.  8352 words. 

Subjects: History ; Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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