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In the indulgence of their egotistical ambitions and reckless whims, kings, conquerors and dictators have frequently presented a spectacle, sometimes comic but more often tragic in its results, that the authors have tried to bring back to life in this book.

Here are living biographies of these twenty famous rulers: King Solomon; Asoka; Caesar; Augustus; Constantine; Charlemagne; Kublai Khan; Henry VIII; Queen Elizabeth; Montezuma; Ivan the Terrible; Catherine the Great; Louis XIV; Frederick the Great; Napoleon; Queen Victoria; Kaiser Wilhelm; Stalin; Mussolini; and Hitler.

(P) 1995 by Blackstone Audiobooks; © 1940 by Garden City Publishers, Inc, All Rights Reserved.

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Sherry
  • 03-08-05

Living Biographies of Famous Rulers

Terrible. Not only are the authors totally contemptuous of the people they are writing about, quite a few of their facts are incorrect. If it makes the ruler seem worse, say it! This is one long editorial about the evils of power and powerful people. I'm sorry but I would rather have the facts about what the famous people did & accomplished in their lives, & then make my own judgments. Don't waste your time or money.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Adolph
  • 21-08-08


This audio book is blank after 7:22:09 thus you will totally miss out on Stalin; Mussolini; and Hitler. The biography of Kaiser Wilhelm II is cut short. Having just downloaded the book and done some spot listening when I discovered the above serious flaw; I can say the biographies are well done even though they are not above criticism. The interpretations of the authors are by no means infallible and in some instances have much to be desired.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Peter
  • 14-05-06

Poor history

This is a rather poor and sketchy history of a lucky dip bag of world rulers.

For me, there was far too much of pseudo-novelisation of historical figures' lives, conversations and physical and emotional reactions.

There must be a better way to treat what should be a fascinating topic that can teach us many lessons.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • joanne ceruone
  • 20-03-04

Good content, but spoiled by the narrator

The content of this book was excellent, and the short, thumbnail sketches could have made it a 5-star book. Unfortunately, the narrator completely spoiled it for me. She has an unpleasant, grating voice. She apparently hates warriors and strong men and never misses a chance to make a sarcastic remark or a Sunday school teacher-like morality lesson about a subject she doesn't happen to like. I prefer more facts and less moralizing. I'm an adult and capable of making my own moral judgments.

3 people found this helpful