Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The King Whisperers: Power Behind the Throne, from Rasputin to Rove” as Want to Read:
The King Whisperers: Power Behind the Throne, from Rasputin to Rove
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The King Whisperers: Power Behind the Throne, from Rasputin to Rove

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  65 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
Throughout history, behind so many de facto rulers, there can often be found a shadowy puppetmaster pulling the strings. Using examples from Machiavelli, Catherine de Medici and Alexander Hamilton to Dick Cheney, Zhou Enlai and Joseph Stalin, Kerwin Swint presents profiles of notorious "king whisperers," spanning the globe and historical periods, showing how they employed ...more
ebook, 336 pages
Published March 1st 2011 by Union Square Press (first published 2011)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The King Whisperers, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The King Whisperers

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Melissa Storm
Some stories are so terrible, so fantastic, so unreal that you just know they had to have happened.

Take Aggripina the Younger, the devoted mother would stop at nothing to secure her son’s emperorship or Rome—incest, murder, cunning, whatever it took. Or Kautilya, the BC-era warlord who knew his most powerful weapon was a beautiful woman and a lovesick enemy. How about the monster Heinrich Himmler whose desire to build a race-based society of supermen led to the twentieth century’s most horrifyin
D.K. LeVick
May 12, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hand someone a book about ‘history’ and more times than not they break out into uncontrollable shaking, floundering in a quagmire of forgotten names, dates and places and they mentally smell the dry dust whiffing up from the crinkled, yellowed pages. “History? Oh God, no. Dull, boring, meaningless ‘History’! Why me God?’ they cry out in despair.
Yes, we’ve been conditioned well to view history as a succession of names, places and times committed to memory, that might as well exist on Mars for as
Apr 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Biography Tourists, Students, Academics, History readers,
Recommended to David by: Novel Publicity
Just when you thought that royalty, politicians and history were boring, along comes Kerwin Swint and The King Whisperers.

The King Whisperers breaks upon our senses at the right moment. Whilst at one and the same time we are growing tired of rulers and politicians, yet being excited by films about a stuttering King who swept up all the Oscars and the most exciting Royal weddings of all time between Prince William and Kate Middleton - The King Whisperers imposes itself
Steve Umstead
Mar 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Review of The King Whisperers by Dr. Kerwin Swint

A few weeks back, I was privileged enough to twitterview* Dr. Kerwin Swint, author of The King Whisperers.

*Twitterview – what a cool word, huh? Even cooler concept. Following along with a Twitter hashtag (#emlyn) and creating a real-time, online dialogue, audience members from around the world can peek in, see Q&A, and even throw in a question or two. I had a blast in March doing several!

Going into it, before taking a look at his work and the
Jun 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
April’s non-fiction pick (YES I KNOW). Pretty cool! The writing and research was great. I really like the concept, I love these kinds of figures in fiction and I love the complexities of when politics and the individual intersects. WHICH IS WHY I CANT DEAL WITH IR REALISM. There is no way international politics at ANY POINT in history can have been determined solely by prescribed behavior from large polities ie empires and nation-states. Individual action absolutely has something to contribute t ...more
Lee Libro
Mar 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Seldom do I review nonfiction, but certain topics are the flint stone to story making, the greatest of these being history, the elemental roots of literary magic in so much of my favorite fiction. In my world, history can make sparks fly so, you'd have seen me waving my hand eagerly in the air like a schoolgirl when Novel Publicity Blog Tours asked for participants to review Kerwin Swint's, The King Whisperers. Though I'm certainly not a schoolgirl anymore, I adore historical facts and any opini ...more
Courtney Conant
Apr 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
I wasn't sure what to expect of Swint's book when I first started reading it. I'm not much of a fan of politics or history unless it is in the form of ficticious intrigue, gripping the reader and taking them to and fro. I must say, I was pleasantly surprised by what I found.

The author paints amazing pictures of the past (and present in come cases), allowing the reader to get a true feel for the "Whisperer" being described. The text was definitely informative and will teach the reader a great dea
May 28, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book falls victim to the risk that authors take when they try to compare current political figures with those of the past. Not enough time has passed to evaluate the impact of figures like Omar Suleiman. Perhaps there was not enough time to edit the information on Suleiman before it went to press, but it is sorely lacking in information about his involvement in a secret service that routinely kidnaps citizens and journalists who speak out against the government. And there is a tendency thro ...more
I sat down and read this book practically cover to cover in a sitting. This doesn't happen to me with history books. Most of this book reads like a good pirate tale, and indeed several of the people mentioned could be considered pirates.

He divides the book into 10 sections covering 10 different kinds of powerful people. He recounts the history of both men and women, behind the scenes, and in the open.

This book was fast paced, varied within the themes, and kept things informative but usually fun
May 06, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you're a history buff, you probably won't like this book - it's interesting, but there are so many historical figures that are highlighted that the author is only able to give a brief overview of each one and explain some of the major accomplishments and character traits that make them the particular category of "king whisperers" that are featured in this book. It was interesting, but at times I found the classifications a little random - many of the historical figures could fit under many of ...more
Mary Summer
May 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: writing
I read this book from a different angle than others, I think. I'm a novelist, and I often have issues creating a multidimensional antagonist. This book is an incredible resource for authors in that it gives several real-person profiles of ten different types of behind-the-scenes manipulators throughout history. It's a must-read for anyone creating this type of character for a novel.

For a more in-depth review by yours-truly as well as an INTERVIEW with the author himself regarding creating believ
Paula Tohline Calhoun
Apr 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in political history that reads like good fiction.
Recommended to Paula Tohline by: Emlyn Chand of Novel Publicity
Please read my very favorable review on my blog - posted May 13, 2011. The link to this review is here:


Hope you choose to read the book, and enjoy it as much as I did!
Nov 30, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very interesting book. The books is a series of biographies, divided by the type of power behind the throne "general", "fixer" etc. The biographies were a good length and flowed very well together. There were people from around the world, some familiar and some new, and I learned quite a bit, even about those I already knew something about.
Oct 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting historical look at the power in politics. There were several people discussed in the book that I had no knowledge of, which is one of the points of the book: these people are the power behind the person the public sees.
Nov 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An enchanting collection of personalities.
Julie Dennehy
May 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
Loved this book - my review is here on my blog:
rated it liked it
Mar 05, 2012
François Métivier
rated it liked it
Jun 26, 2018
rated it it was amazing
Apr 09, 2011
rated it it was amazing
Mar 06, 2014
rated it really liked it
Aug 27, 2016
Robb Grandt
rated it really liked it
Aug 12, 2014
Beth P
rated it liked it
Dec 14, 2011
rated it it was ok
Sep 10, 2012
Derek Seyler
rated it really liked it
Jan 28, 2013
Abuhameed hameed
rated it it was amazing
Apr 10, 2011
Kerwin Swint
Apr 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
rated it really liked it
Oct 20, 2011
rated it it was ok
Jan 19, 2012
rated it really liked it
Feb 10, 2017
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Liberal Hour: Washington and the Politics of Change in the 1960s
  • The Obamians: How a Band of Newcomers Redefined American Power
  • How Wars End: Why We Always Fight the Last Battle
  • The Most Noble Adventure: The Marshall Plan and the Time When America Helped Save Europe
  • The Art of Instruction: Vintage Educational Charts from the 19th and 20th Centuries
  • The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity and the Renewal of Civilization
  • The Tyranny of Oil: The World's Most Powerful Industry--and What We Must Do to Stop It
  • The Boy: A Holocaust Story
  • Edison's Eve: A Magical History of the Quest for Mechanical Life
  • Putin's Labyrinth: Spies, Murder, and the Dark Heart of the New Russia
  • Revolution 1989: The Fall of the Soviet Empire
  • Ten Letters: The Stories Americans Tell Their President
  • "What the Heck Are You Up To, Mr. President?": Jimmy Carter, America's "Malaise," and the Speech that Should Have Changed the Country
  • Land of Promise: An Economic History of the United States
  • Lady Bird and Lyndon: The Hidden Story of a Marriage That Made a President
  • The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Civil War
  • Reagan's America: Innocents at Home
  • Reaching for Glory: Lyndon Johnson's Secret White House Tapes 1964-65
Dr. Kerwin Swint is an author, speaker, and professor of politics at Kennesaw State University in Atlanta. Specializing in Campaigns and Elections and Mass Media, he or his work has appeared in a number of national and international media, including CNN, FOX News, the BBC, the ABC program The View, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, NPR, The Toronto Star, The Daily Mail (UK), National ...more
More about Kerwin Swint

Nonfiction Deals

  • Masters of the Air: America's Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany
    $15.99 $3.99
  • The Monster of Florence
    $10.99 $2.99
  • The Westies: Inside New York's Irish Mob
    $9.99 $1.99
  • April 1865 (P.S.)
    $11.74 $1.99
  • Jesus Is ______: Find a New Way to Be Human
    $7.99 $0.99
  • Scent of the Missing: Love and Partnership with a Search-and-Rescue Dog
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Lab 257
    $8.74 $1.99
  • How Not to Hate Your Husband After Kids
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Girl in the Woods: A Memoir
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Power of When: Discover Your Chronotype--and the Best Time to Eat Lunch, Ask for a Raise, Have Sex, Write a Novel, Take Your Meds, and More
    $14.99 $2.99
  • The Last Lecture
    $10.99 $2.99
  • Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived
    $12.74 $1.99
  • Not Tonight, Honey: Wait 'Til I'm A Size 6
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter--And How to Make the Most of Them Now
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Heroes, Gods and Monsters of the Greek Myths
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Ladies of Liberty: The Women Who Shaped Our Nation
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Ends of the World: Volcanic Apocalypses, Lethal Oceans, and Our Quest to Understand Earth's Past Mass Extinctions
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Feast: True Love in and out of the Kitchen
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Last of the Doughboys: The Forgotten Generation and Their Forgotten World War
    $15.99 $1.99
  • Vaccinated: One Man's Quest to Defeat the World's Deadliest Diseases
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology
    $12.99 $2.99
  • An Appetite For Wonder: The Making Of A Scientist
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Letters of Note: An Eclectic Collection of Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience
    $27.99 $2.99
  • Waiter Rant: Thanks for the Tip-Confessions of a Cynical Waiter
    $8.74 $1.99
  • Dakota: A Spiritual Geography (Dakotas)
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Restless: Because You Were Made for More
    $7.49 $1.99
  • Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.: Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and The Dawn of the Modern Woman
    $10.24 $1.99
  • The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinctions
    $16.99 $2.99
  • Happiness: The Crooked Little Road to Semi-Ever After
    $13.99 $3.99
  • Man-Eater: The Life and Legend of an American Cannibal
    $5.99 $2.99
  • Living Well, Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good Life
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Pukka: The Pup After Merle
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Buddhist Boot Camp
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Flour: A Baker's Collection of Spectacular Recipes
    $21.99 $3.99
  • The Longest Day: The Classic Epic of D-Day
    $12.99 $3.99
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Van Gogh
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Church of the Small Things: The Million Little Pieces That Make Up a Life
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Woman's Worth
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Do the Work
    $4.99 $1.49
  • The Lost Tribe of Coney Island: Headhunters, Luna Park, and the Man Who Pulled Off the Spectacle of the Century
    $4.99 $1.99
  • I Suck at Girls
    $10.74 $1.99
  • The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women
    $14.99 $2.99
  • Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest
    $12.99 $3.99
  • Peace Is Every Breath: A Practice for Our Busy Lives
    $9.49 $1.99
  • Savage Harvest: A Tale of Cannibals, Colonialism, and Michael Rockefeller's Tragic Quest for Primitive Art
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Londoners: The Days and Nights of London Now--As Told by Those Who Love It, Hate It, Live It, Left It, and Long for It
    $7.24 $1.99
  • The World's Last Night: And Other Essays
    $7.99 $1.99
  • A. Lincoln
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Tracks: One Woman's Journey Across 1,700 Miles of Australian Outback
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman's Awakening
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Hell's Princess: The Mystery of Belle Gunness, Butcher of Men
    $5.99 $2.99
  • Life
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Seeing Further: The Story of Science and the Royal Society
    $13.24 $2.99
  • Grace, Not Perfection (with Bonus Content): Celebrating Simplicity, Embracing Joy
    $8.99 $1.99
  • The Promise and the Dream: The Untold Story of Martin Luther King, Jr. And Robert F. Kennedy
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Through the Eyes of a Lion: Facing Impossible Pain, Finding Incredible Power
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Why We Run: A Natural History
    $9.49 $1.99
  • Edgar Allan Poe: The Fever Called Living
    $5.99 $2.99
  • The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and Peoples Temple
    $12.99 $2.99