Magazine June 25, 2018, Issue

Dictator Lit

Kim Jong-il in 2010 (KCNA via Reuters)
An absurd and horrifying genre

A fair number of books can be counted a disgrace to literature. But only a special type of book stands as an embarrassment to printing. At the very top of this pile are the books written by dictators: the only works written for audiences that can accurately be described as captive.

On a shelf alongside me as I write is one such book, from the relatively lighter end of the genre. The Ruhnama (also known as “The Pink Book”) is the work of Saparmurat Niyazov — also known as “Turkmenbashi” — who was the first post-Soviet ruler of Turkmenistan. Though this

In This Issue

Articles

Features

World

Dictator Lit

A fair number of books can be counted a disgrace to literature. But only a special type of book stands as an embarrassment to printing.

Books, Arts & Manners

Sections

The Week

The Week

Tensions are high, conflict threatens to flare up, but let’s hope the situation between the White House and the Philadelphia Eagles can be resolved peacefully.
Athwart

Fair as Feck

To remind her audience that they were good people and so that they could applaud her bravery, Samantha Bee called the president’s daughter a “feckless c***.”

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