13 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.
Also, check out our other podcast, Real Narcos. Out Now!

Real Dictators Noiser

    • History
    • 4.7 • 66 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.
Also, check out our other podcast, Real Narcos. Out Now!

    Papa Doc Part 3: Vampire of the Caribbean

    Papa Doc Part 3: Vampire of the Caribbean

    François Duvalier has created a terrifying cult of personality around himself. Not only is he President for Life; he claims to be an immaterial being - a spirit that will hover over Haiti even after his body dies. With near-godlike status achieved, his thoughts turn to his legacy. The groundwork is laid for the President’s son, Jean-Claude, to inherit power. This young man they call “Baby Doc” sits waiting in the wings. Meanwhile, regime loyalists devise increasingly sinister and corrupt methods to line their own pockets. Our contributors reflect on the legacy of Papa Doc - a name that will forever haunt the nightmares of Haitians.
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    • 33 min
    Papa Doc Part 2: Haiti’s Dictator vs JFK

    Papa Doc Part 2: Haiti’s Dictator vs JFK

    Ensconced in the Presidential Palace, Haitian dictator “Papa Doc” Duvalier crushes an attempted coup without mercy. Spooked by this near miss, Duvalier forms his own private militia called the Tonton Macoute. They take their name from a terrifying bogeyman of Haitian mythology and will go on to kill as many as 60,000 Haitians. Desperate to prevent communism taking hold in the Caribbean, the United States initially helps to prop up Papa Doc’s administration. Better the devil you know… But as the horrors of the regime become unavoidably clear, President Kennedy decides the time has come to lay down a marker.
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    • 40 min
    Papa Doc Part 1: The Voodoo Tyrant

    Papa Doc Part 1: The Voodoo Tyrant

    Just a few hundred miles south of Florida, across the Caribbean Sea, lies Haiti. From 1957 to 1971, this tropical island nation was ruled by a would-be demigod. For 14 years, François Duvalier - better known as “Papa Doc” - wielded the twin powers of state violence and voodoo. His embezzlement of foreign aid turned an economy rich with potential into the poorest country in the West. Real Dictators takes you behind the scenes of Papa Doc’s maniacal regime. His victims and adversaries tell the story of the medical doctor who became the butcher of his people.
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    • 51 min
    Mao Zedong Part 3: The Cultural Revolution

    Mao Zedong Part 3: The Cultural Revolution

    Mao’s ‘Cultural Revolution’ sets out to purge the minds of an entire population. At the same time, the Supreme Leader continues to live a life of debauchery and excess - as the man who used to be his personal physician remembers. Mao’s propaganda machine seems invincible. But as the Chairman ages and his health deteriorates, the security of his legacy is anything but ensured. Eyewitnesses to his brutality reflect on what Mao means to China today, more than 40 years after his death.
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    • 50 min
    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

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
66 Ratings

66 Ratings

Yu-Gi-yaassss ,

Great listen!

If there is an auditory equivalent for a page-turner, then this podcast is it. I love listening to this even when I’m supposed to be doing work cause it’s just so entertaining. Don’t tell my boss though. Highly recommend.

Uncle2Beers ,

Great!

Waiting on the new episodes ..... when will they be out??

Lexlk ,

Bated breath

Really good series so far! can’t wait for the new episodes, when will they drop?

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