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The Infernal Library: On Dictators, the Books They Wrote, and Other Catastrophes of Literacy

Author: Daniel Kalder.

The Infernal Library: On Dictators, the Books They Wrote, and Other Catastrophes of Literacy

Author: Daniel Kalder.

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Item #: D22929
Format: Paperback
Pages: 400
Publication Date: 2019
Publisher: Picador
ISBN: 9781250181602
Though dictators have been writing books since the Roman Empire, by the 20th century they were enjoying unprecedented print runs, with millions of copies read by (literally) captive audiences. The titans of the genre—Stalin, Mussolini, and Khomeini among them—produced manifestos, poetry, memoirs, and even the occasional romance novel, establishing a literary tradition of boundless tedium that continues to this day. ... More
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Though dictators have been writing books since the Roman Empire, by the 20th century they were enjoying unprecedented print runs, with millions of copies read by (literally) captive audiences. The titans of the genre—Stalin, Mussolini, and Khomeini among them—produced manifestos, poetry, memoirs, and even the occasional romance novel, establishing a literary tradition of boundless tedium that continues to this day. With an eye for the darkly funny world of totalitarianism, the author of Lost Cosmonaut delves into the innermost thoughts of Mao, Castro, Hussein, and Kim Jong-il, wondering how the production of literature became central to the running of regimes, and what these books reveal about the dictatorial soul.

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