The 20th century has become known as the “age of dictatorship”, for the horrors perpetrated by Hitler, Stalin, Mao and other despots from Chile to Cambodia. Anne McElvoy asks Frank Dikötter, a historian and professor at the university of Hong Kong, how these men rose to power and why some survived while others were brought down. They debate the limits of authoritarian power today, including China’s ability to act in Hong Kong. And what makes a true dictator—or is there something a bit dictatorial in everyone?
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