Magazine October 19, 2009, Issue

A Typology of Tyrants

Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (L) is welcomed by Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez (R) at Miraflores Palace in Caracas, Venezuela, November 25, 2009. (Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)
Clowns can be scary too -- especially with the wrong person in the White House

Sickly, half-lame little Josep Jughashvili grew up to be the terrible and terrifying Joseph Stalin — gangster, egomaniac, mass murderer, diabolical titan. His statues once dotted town squares throughout the Communist world, but these days his memory is burnished mostly in his hometown of Gori, Georgia.

That’s where the Stalin Museum is lovingly tended — at least it was a few years ago, when I visited it — by an elderly lady who is not current with revisionist history. When she gives you a tour of the Stalin Museum, she pronounces the word “Stalin” — I don’t speak Georgian, but the

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Books, Arts & Manners


The Week

The Week

In a matter of about three weeks, the Left’s view of Afghanistan has gone from “the good war” to “the next Vietnam.


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