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The Most Evil Men and Women in History Hardcover – 2002


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 189 pages
  • Publisher: Barnes & Noble Books; 1St Edition edition (2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0760734968
  • ISBN-13: 978-0760734964
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.9 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #456,570 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By J. D. Hammond on August 26, 2004
Format: Hardcover
When I stumbled across this book it was selling for $8.00. It contains about as much accurate information as one might expect from an $8 text with such a title. Still, I wasn't expecting much more than an historical tabloid, so it's amusing, particularly when I imagine any friend of mine who gives a damn about military or political history reading it (and, naturally, convulsing).

Evil, now, is a strong word. It frames an argument and as such needs to be precisely defined: in this case, apparently, as arbitrary institutional sadism and cruelty on a massive scale. Some of the subjects make the cut easily - Vlad Dracula, Ivan Grozny, Pizarro, Hitler, Pol Pot, Idi Amin - not least because their sadism was massive and cruel and emanated from their wanton cult of personality, but because their acts set grave precedents.

A good half of the book is considerably more foggy; and if we can assume the crimes of Nero, Attila, Torquemada and Stalin eclipse the breadth of scope of their projects or whatever intentions they had, the appearance of the remaining five subjects border on the bizarre: Elizabeth Bathory, for instance, is rather small potatoes compared to the aforementioned lot. One could level similar charges against Lucrezia Borgia, but Twiss declined. Ilse Koch (de facto Kommandantin of Buchenwald) was heinous on a personal scale, but also deeply conditioned by her environment; she was quite the cog in the Reichs machine, so if we include her, why not include Lynndie England, or any other member of any military or police institution that has committed atrocities with relish and powers of Koch's scope?

Also, there is little evidence that Caligula actually did most of the things he is accused of; Roman histories are notoriously politicized and revisionist.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Shawna Pierce on November 28, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I have been reading this book for the past week and it's a great bedtime book. Each story is about 5-6 pages long and it's just right for me. When I go to bed, I am already tired so I only read a few pages to get myself settled in and relaxed. The short stories are perfect for people who only read a little at a time. It's also a good bathtime book.
Some of the mentionables would be Josef Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Prince Vlad Dracula, Countess Elizabeth of Bathory, and Attila the Hun. There is also Nero, Ivan the Terrible, Pol Pot and Bloody Mary. The stories from the first century AD to present day.
It's great seeing how these people started out in their lives and how they ended up. The drama is nonstop. Hope you enjoy.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By K. S. Folse Jr. on January 3, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book may come across as interesting, but that's purely because of the subject matter. The writing is pretty poor, and the grammar is horrible. The author jumps around a bit and writes things in a confusing manner. The book tends to lack in explaining why some of these people are evil. Fortunately, it has a Bibliography, so one can do further research into these icons.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth M. Ortman on July 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover
While this book does make for interesting reading, the author tends to present many outlandish (and proven untrue or at least questionable) anecdotes as facts. This makes the book highly entertaining for those who don't know any better, but serious history buffs will probably be annoyed.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found this book fun and interesting. There is little doubt that Hitler, Stalin, Vlad, Pol Pot, Ivan, and Idi belong in here because they were responsible for millions of deaths or they were perhaps the most sadistic killers in history. Pol Pot is just as bad as Hitler because unlike Hitler, Pol Pot ordered an official genocide against his own country. In fact, Pol Pot killed the greatest percentage of his county's population in his amount of time in power than anyone else in history. Pizarro, Torquemada and Attila fit the category. If the accounts of Caligula and Nero are true, than they could belong on this list. I was shocked when I saw that Rasputin was on here, but I later read biographies about Rasputin. I now understand why Rasputin is in here. Rasputin was responsible for the fall of the royal family. The biographies that I have read about Rasputin think he is responsible for their demise (I have read some books that say that Rasputin KNEW that they would die and wanted them to die. The significance of bringing down the royal family lead to communism, which as taken the lives of 100 million to 140 million people. That is why Rasputin is in here. Fore those who want to learn more about Rasputin, I recommend buying The Rasputin File buy Edvard Radzinsky. Elizebeth and Ilse koch were, in my opinion, the most evil women in history and I think that they can deserve a place in this book.

But what I don't understand is how King John and Bloody Mary are in here. Though I have learned that the author is from London, which explains a lot because they are the most hated leaders in English history, but when someone writes a book like this, than the author should be more open minded. King John wasn't very extreme for his time.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Robbie De Clercq on December 24, 2006
Format: Hardcover
It is always dangerous to write books like these. What makes one man or woman more evil then another? Here are the persons who, according to the author, are the most evil persons in history:

- Caligula

- Nero

- Attila the Hun

- King John

- Torquemada

- Vlad Dracula

- Francisco Pizarro

- Bloody Mary

- Ivan the Terrible

- Elizabeth Bathory

- Rasputin

- Jozef Stalin

- Adolf Hitler

- Ilse Koch

- Pol Pot

- Idi Amin

There is no doubt that Hilter and Stalin should be in this book, but what about Caligula and Elizabeth Bathory? Recent studies have shown that the stories that surround both Caligula and Elizabeth were mostly invented. Robert Graves' book 'I Claudius' is fiction, but a lot of people really believe that the stories in his book actually happened. Okay, Caligula was cruel, but hasn't every king or emperor done cruel things? Elizabeth Bathory was a politician and a woman. Isn't it probable that all the stories were invented by people (i.e. men) who wanted to stop her political career? I guess no one will ever know.

Nonetheless this is an intriguing book with small biographies of some of the greatest villains in the history of the world.
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