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Defeating Dictators: Fighting Tyranny in Africa and Around the World Hardcover – November 8, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Trade (November 8, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230108598
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230108592
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #445,756 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

As George Ayittey, Obama adviser and veteran Africa author and analyst, knows too well…there is far more to ousting dictators than convening a crowd, as in Tahrir Square…There are few greater experts in the nature of and flaws of tyranny [than Ayittey]. His record in opposing authoritarian misrule in his native Ghana is unimpeachable.…All those labouring under authoritarian systems that seem invulnerable, from Zimbabwe to Jordan and even maybe China, should heed Ayittey's strictures. So should their rulers. So too should western officials tempted to water down their principles when working in illiberal regimes. (Alec Russell, Financial Times)

About the Author

Dr. George Ayittey was named one of Foreign Policy's Top Global Thinkers in 2009 and is an advisor to the Obama administration on forging a new path for Africa. He is the author of Africa Unchained, Africa in Chaos, and Africa Betrayed, which won the H.L. Mencken Award for Best Book. Ayittey has written for The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The Times of London, among others, and has appeared on such media as ABC Nightline, PBS NewsHour, and CNN. He is also the founder and president of the Free Africa Foundation and professor economics at American University.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Vakunta on November 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Reviewer: Dr. Peter Wuteh Vakunta

After publishing Africa Betrayed (1992) and Africa Unchained (2005), intellectual gadfly, Professor George B.N.Ayittey has crafted yet another masterpiece, Defeating Dictators: Fighting Tyranny in Africa and Around the World (2011) in which he adumbrates the deceptive habits of highly defective despotic regimes in Africa and beyond. Ayittey contends that a dictator is a dictator. He further points out that "The only good dictator is a dead one" (218). The crux of the argument in his book is that Africans and other people chaffing under the yoke of despotism should steer clear of confusing ideological with systemic dictatorship--dictatorship that emerges from faulty institutions and systems. Any political system that concentrates power in the hands of one person, he argues, will inevitably degenerate into a dictatorship. The culprit is the system--not ideology or culture.Defeating Dictators is a vitriolic lampoon on abuse of power, electoral gerrymandering and rape of democracy in the developing world. Ayittey observes that "modern dictators come in different shades; races, skin colors and religions, and they profess various ideologies" (7). This notwithstanding, despots have a lot in common: they are leaders who are not chosen by their people and, therefore, do not represent the people's aspirations. As opposition mounts against them, they refine their tactics and learn new tricks in an attempt to stem the tide of pro-democracy forces. Despotic governments are highly deceptive regimes that are recognizable from distinctive traits.

Unyielding grip on power is the hallmark of every dictator in Africa. Elections are farcical and always won by the despot. As Ayittey would have it, dictators "...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Keala Carter on July 14, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the perfect book to start learning about the politics of Africa and other places on the globe that are governed poorly. Very interesting in the author's style as well as his content. Lots of information and facts.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I LOVE IT !!
A must read for all political activists around the world. Inspiring, encouraging. Raw facts about how the ruthless leaders of this world plunder their country resources and brutalize their citizens. This book will give you courage to stand up on your two feet and face off with a dictator without firing a shot. The good guys will always win at the end. It is hard and a stretch, but worth the difficult fight according to Ayitteh. Get it and take a dictator off your back. Now!!

Fatou Jaw Manneh
Gambian journalist and political activist, residing in the USA
fatoujm@usa.net
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By Sally Sogue on August 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is one of my favorites. The author moves you with his diction and provides the reader with a great understanding of why some of Africa's dictators/heads of states have failed their people.
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