Today I sent the manuscript for ON THIS DAY IN POLITICS to my publisher Allen & Unwin. So it's time to start planning for the next book. As you may know, I've published THE PRIME MINISTERS and THE PRESIDENTS in the last two years. KINGS & QUEENS will be published in September 2023. All the essays have been commissioned. 

The fourth book in the series will be THE DICTATORS - TWO MILLENNIA OF TYRANTS, TOTALITARIANS & DESPOTS. It will be the same format, but it is slightly complicated by the fact that there have been far more dictators in world history than it's possible to cover in a single volume book. What I am trying to do it to compile a list of 100 or so dictators and then whittle it down to 50 to commission people to write about in the book.

Of course, one issue is how to define what a dictator actually is, which will give me plenty of food for thought in the foreword to the book. Often dictators have gone through the normal democractic process, and it's only once they obtain power that their dictatorial tendencies come to the fore. Others obtain power by force. One key theme of the book will also be how dictators lose power.

This is as far as I have got in compiling an initial list, and the point of this article is to encourage you to add to the 91 I've already come up with, and suggest other dictators I should think about including. I'm especially keen to include dictators from ancient times, the middle ages, going through the centuries to the present day. So please either leave your comments here or email me

Alexander the Great 336-323 Greece
Fabius Cunctator 221-203 Italy
Sulla 82-79 Italy
Julius Caesar 49-44 Italy
Augustus 27-14 Italy
Nero 54-68 Italy
Qin Shi Huang 247-210 China
Attila the Hun 434-453  
Genghis Khan 1206-1227  
Ivan the Terrible 1547-1575 Russia
Oliver Cromwell 1649-1658 England
Catherine the Great 1762-1796 Russia
Napoleon Bonaparte 1804-1815 France
Porfirio Diaz 1884-1911 Mexico
Vladimir Lenin 1917-1921 Russia
Miklos Horthy 1920-1944 Hungary
Benito Mussolini 1922-1943 Italy
Josef Stalin 1922-1952 Russia
Kemal Ataturk 1923-1938 Turkey
Antonio de Oliveira Salazar 1932-1968 Portugal
Engelbert Dolfuss 1932-1934 Austria
Adolf Hitler 1933-1945 Germany
Rafael Trujillo 1934-1961 Dominican Republic
Fransisco Franco 1936-1975 Spain
The Somozas 1936-1979 Nicaragua
Enver Hoxha 1941-1985 Albania
Shah Reza Pahlavi 1941-79 Iraq
Chaing Kai Shek 1943-1975 Taiwan
Mao Tse Tung 1943-1976 China
Juan Peron 1946-1955 Argentina
Ho Chi Minh 1946-1969 Vietnam
Boleslaw Bierut 1947-1956 Poland
Walter Ulbricht 1950-1971 East Germany
Nikita Khruschev 1953-1964 Russia
Josip Broz Tito 1953-1980 Yugoslavia
Alfredo Stroessner 1954-1989 Paraquay
Todor Zhivkov 1954-1989 Bulgaria
Gamal Abdel Nasser 1956-1970 Egypt
Janos Kadar 1956-1988 Hungary
Papa Doc Duvalier 1957-1971 Haiti
Ahmed Sekou Toure 1958-1984 Guinea
Ne Win 1958-1981 Burma
Lee Kwam Yew 1959-1990 Singapore
Kwame Nkrumah 1960-1966 Ghana
Leonid Brezhnev 1964-1982 Russia
Ferdinand Marcos 1965-1986 Philippines
Nicolae Ceausescu 1965-1989 Romania
Fidel Castro 1965-2011 Cuba
Mobutu Sese Seko 1965-1997 Congo
Jean-Bedel Bokassa 1966-1979 Central African Republic
Kim Il Sung 1966-1994 North Korea
Hastings Banda 1966-1994 Malawai
Suharto 1968-1998 Indonesia
Anwar Sadat 1970-1981 Egypt
Idi Amin 1971-1979 Uganda
Baby Doc Duvalier 1971-1986 Haiti
Erich Honecker 1971-1989 East Germany
Hafez al-Assad 1971-2000 Syria
Augusto Pinochet 1974-1990 Chile
Pol Pot 1976-1979 Cambodia
Mengistu Haile Mariam 1977-1991 Ethiopia
Muhammad Zia Ul Haq 1977-1988 Pakistan
Muammar Gaddafi 1977-2011 Libya
Deng Xiaoping 1978-89 China
Ayatollah Khomeini 1979-1989 Iran
Saddam Hussein 1979-2003 Iraq
Daniel Ortega 1979-2023 Nicaragua
Samuel Doe 1980-1990 Liberia
Robert Mugabe 1980-2017 Zimbabwe
Leopoldo Galtieri 1981-1982 Argentina
Wojciech Jaruzelski 1981-1989 Poland
Hosni Mubarak 1981-2011 Egypt
Manuel Noriega 1983-1989 Panama
Slobodan Milosevic 1989-2000 Serbia
Nursultan Nazarbayev 1990-2019 Kazakhstan
Saparmurat Niyazov 1991-2005 Turkmenistan
Omar Al-Bashir 1993-2019 Sudan
Aleksandr Lukashenko 1994-2023 Belarus
Charles Taylor 1997-2003 Liberia
Kim Jong Il 1997-2011 North Korea
Hugo Chavez 1999-2013 Venzuela
Vladimir Putin 1999-2023 Russia
Basher al-Assad 2000-2023 Syria
Paul Kagame 2000-2023 Rwanda
Ilham Aliyev 2003-2013 Azerbaijan
Recep Erdogan 2003-2023 Turkey
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad 2005-2013 Iran
Kim Jong Un 2012-2023 North Korea
Xi Jinping 2012-2023 China
Nicolas Maduro 2013-2023 Venezuela
Mohammed bin Salman 2017-2023 Saudi Arabia