9 episodes

Real Dictators is the new podcast series hosted by Paul McGann (Dr Who, Luther, Withnail and I) that explores the hidden lives of history’s tyrants.
New episodes each Wednesday from May 2020.

Real Dictators Noiser

    • History
    • 4.8, 220 Ratings

Real Dictators is the new podcast series hosted by Paul McGann (Dr Who, Luther, Withnail and I) that explores the hidden lives of history’s tyrants.
New episodes each Wednesday from May 2020.

    Mao Zedong Part 2: The ‘Great Leap Forward’

    Mao Zedong Part 2: The ‘Great Leap Forward’

    With an army of devoted followers, Mao Zedong comes down from his hilltop headquarters and engages his Nationalist enemies in battles across China. Finally, victory belongs to the Communists. Crowds flock to Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, as Mao walks on stage to rapturous applause. With China in a mess after years of Nationalist rule, Mao is greeted by many as a hero. But life under the new Chairman is about to get a whole lot worse. Installed as Supreme Leader, Mao sets about revolutionising the way his people live, work and think. His ‘Great Leap Forward’ is intended to be an economic masterplan. Instead, it incurs an inconceivable death toll - driving people across the land to the wildest extremes of human behaviour.
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    • 53 min
    Mao Zedong Part 1: The Peasant’s Son Who Craved Power

    Mao Zedong Part 1: The Peasant’s Son Who Craved Power

    In the centre of China’s capital city, Beijing, lies a corpse that no one dares remove. It’s been 44 years since Mao Zedong’s body was laid to rest in the grandiose Chairman Mao Memorial Hall. He may be gone but he is not forgotten. To some, he’s the father of modern China. To many others, he’s a sadistic thug - a man willing, even happy, to sacrifice millions of lives in pursuit of power and economic dominance. Mao Zedong is born in Hunan Province in 1893. Growing up on his father’s farm, he consumes books and ideas. He becomes a devoted left-wing activist. Mao’s rise to the top of the Communist Party is littered with violent outbursts, setting the tone for the decades to come.
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    • 44 min
    Joseph Stalin Part 3: Hitler Attacks

    Joseph Stalin Part 3: Hitler Attacks

    Stalin’s regime hits the rocks when Adolf Hitler launches Operation Barbarossa and invades Russia. Nazi tanks plough towards Moscow in a devastating advance. Stalin’s legacy is forged in this fight to the death. In his final years, the strongman succumbs to cardiac problems. His tools for progress have been famine, slavery and execution. Yet to this day, some of his countrymen and women lionise him as the man who turned Russia into a superpower.
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    • 50 min
    Joseph Stalin Part 2: The Secretary Becomes Dictator

    Joseph Stalin Part 2: The Secretary Becomes Dictator

    With the First World War underway, Stalin’s journey to becoming a brutal dictator grinds into gear. After the War, Russia is turned upside down. Stalin thrives in the chaos, masterminding a string of elaborate takedowns of his rivals. Rising to party leader, Stalin visits a ruthless purge on his enemies. The dreaded secret police cleanse the country of so-called traitors. Rural society collapses under this onslaught. But Stalin’s brutality does not go unchallenged. The peasants revolt, while a showdown with his own wife at a dinner party has tragic consequences.
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    • 57 min
    Joseph Stalin Part 1: The Young Bank Robber

    Joseph Stalin Part 1: The Young Bank Robber

    Joseph Stalin - the “man of steel” - was the party secretary who plotted a route to absolute power, becoming head of the Eastern Bloc and, in time, chief nemesis of the United States. But how did a man from the Georgian frontier of the Russian Empire do it? In 1917, the 300-year-old Romanov Dynasty collapses. The communist Bolsheviks storm the Winter Palace and seize power. From this band of revolutionaries, a future bloody dictator - a man with an extraordinary backstory - begins to emerge.
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    • 49 min
    Kim Jong-il Part 3: Nuclear Armed

    Kim Jong-il Part 3: Nuclear Armed

    Installed as dictator, Kim Jong-il builds an all-powerful state that rules the lives and minds of its people without mercy. North Korea is wracked by famine. The people adapt to survive - we hear from one man who flouted the rules on trade and commerce and paid a horrific price. With the country starving, lurid rumours emerge about how the ‘Dear Leader’ spends his leisure time. And Kim Jong-il begins work on an arsenal of nuclear weapons that will spook the world and pave the way for his own son’s ascent to power.
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    • 53 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
220 Ratings

220 Ratings

Lambells ,

Great

Really well presented looking forward to many more

filundies47 ,

Quality podcast!!!

This is so well narrated... maybe the best podcast out there. I was sad when it finished! Checking in daily for the next instalment...

lol.lol.lol.321 ,

Can be more accurate

For the episode of chairman Mao. The capital of the Nationalist during China civil war in Nanjing not Beijing.

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