- Executive Produced by David Ginsberg, Jake Laufer, Jonas Bell Pasht, Peter Dinklage, and Jonah Bekhor
- Based on “The Dictator’s Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics” by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith
- July 9, 2021
Stuck in a mind-numbing dead-end job? Need a new career because you are feeling unfulfilled? Well, this docu-series is a handy how to on changing careers and becoming a successful tyrant laid out in easy-to-follow steps.
How to Become a Tyrant is a six-part documentary series that analyzes biographies of dictators such as Adolf Hitler, Saddam Hussein, Idi Amin, Joseph Stalin, Muammar Gaddafi and Kim Il-sung and how they came to and maintained their power as well as where they went wrong and lost power. All but one anyway.
I love history. Ever since I was young it was something that has captured my attention-especially the minutia which they go into here. I aced anything historical in school. I never needed to study for a history test (much to the irritation of at least one teacher). The hows and whys intrigued me and this goes into those.
How to Become a Tyrant is presented as a guide on how the assorted profiled despots ascended to power. They give you background on each dictator and what they did and even some of the mistakes they made. It is analytical and informative which helps to hold your attention. I binged this whole thing in a single day and that is unusual for me no matter the episode length.
This show is done in a semi-humorous style with a mixture of interviews of historians and other intellectuals along with archival footage and even dramatic animation to drive home what they are trying to say. This is all brought together with an engaging narration by Peter Dinklage.
The series is divided up into chapters. Each chapter explores a facet of how these worst of the worst. There is even the occasional disturbing to bizarre anecdotes thrown in for context. The interesting thing the show points out is that there is a way that these people get to and maintain their power. It’s not magical. It is almost identical in each case. And it makes you believe it can happen almost anywhere.
To go off on a tangent, this reminds me of the type of stuff the History Channel, A&E, and other educational networks once created. How to Become a Tyrant is educational entertainment. You are not only informed but have a good time while being entertained. Now all they produce is trashy fluff. Is Ancient Aliens really a historically educational series or is it the televised equivalent of The Weekly World News? What educational value is there in My 600 LB Life or Dr. Pimple Popper?
How to Become a Tyrant is an interesting and engaging documentary series which is very informative and will get you to watch from beginning to end. As of right now it is available on Netflix, and I say watch it!