The Corner

Culture

Hitler for a Father

A very special Need to Know this week — a podcast devoted to Jay’s utterly gripping new book: Children of Monsters. I pose the questions, Jay responds. We get into some very intriguing psychological as well as political territory. Do monsters always behave monstrously? Not at all. Some major killers were very affectionate, even overly devoted parents (Mussolini, Pol Pot, Khomeini, Idi Amin). Others were cruel and abusive (Stalin, Mao). There are themes about the children — competition with rivals, intra-family treachery, loyalty to the “great man’s” memory. We notice the fawning attention these children sometimes receive in the West, from the UN, Beyonce, even, on occasion, Tony Blair and Robert Putnam. Some of the offspring do their best to live blameless lives, others the reverse. Figuring out why is one of the mysteries we ponder in this unusual episode. Do join us! 

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