History's Most Insane Rulers by Michael Rank
Lunatics, Eccentrics, and Megalomaniacs From Emperor Caligula to Kim Jong Il

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Few mixtures are as toxic as absolute power and insanity. When nothing stands between a leader's delusion whims and seeing them carried them out, all sorts of bizarre outcomes are possible. Whether it is Ottoman Sultan Ibrahim I practicing archery on palace servants and sending out his advisers to find the fattest woman in the empire for his wife or Turkmenistan President Turkmenbashi renaming the days of the week after himself and constructing an 80-foot golden statue that revolves to face the sun, crazed leaders have plagued society for millenia. This book will look at the lives of the ten most mentally unbalanced figures in history. Some suffered from genetic disorders that led to schizophrenia, such as French King Charles VI, who thought he was made of glass. Others believed themselves to be God’s representatives on earth and wrote religious writings that they guaranteed to the reader would get them into heaven, even if they were barely literate. Whatever their background, these rulers show that dynastic politics made sure that a rightful heir always got on the throne – despite that heir's mental condition – and that power can destroy a mind worse than any mental illness.

About Michael Rank

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Michael Rank is a doctoral candidate in Middle East history. He has studied Turkish, Arabic, Persian, and Armenian, but can still pull out a rurual Midwestern accent if need be. He also worked as a journalist in Istanbul for nearly a decade and reported on religion and human rights.He is the author of the #1 Amazon best-seller "From Muhammed to Burj Khalifa: A Crash Course in 2,000 Years of Middle East History," and "History's Worst Dictators: A Short Guide to the Most Brutal Leaders, From Emperor Nero to Ivan the Terrible.
Published December 11, 2013 by Five Minute Books. 88 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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