“sight. In his essay On The Sublime, Edmund Burke observes, "Represent the most sublime and affecting tragedy we have...and when you have collected your audience, just at the moment when their minds are filled with expectation, let it be reported that a criminal is on the point of being executed in the adjoining square..." And in a moment, the theater will be empty. In these bloody rituals of execution and repression, the leader becomes the ancient God-King stepping forward to save his people, a promise as dangerous as it is seductive.  If there is one lesson we can take away from the extravagant lives of our tyrants it is the fragility of our democratic society which, after all, is the exception, not the norm, in that dark, violent story known as human history.”


Daniel Myerson, Blood and Splendor: The Lives of Five Tyrants, from Nero to Saddam Hussein
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Blood and Splendor: The Lives of Five Tyrants, from Nero to Saddam Hussein Blood and Splendor: The Lives of Five Tyrants, from Nero to Saddam Hussein by Daniel Myerson
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