October 16, 2016 • 8:30 a.m.
What’s it like to be the son or daughter of a dictator? An absolute and ruthless dictator on the Stalin level? What’s it like to bear a name synonymous with oppression, terror, and evil?
Jay Nordlinger, a senior editor of National Review, set out to answer that question. And he does so in his new book, Children of Monsters: An Inquiry into the Sons and Daughters of Dictators. He looks into the families of the worst of the worst: Stalin, Mao, Idi Amin, Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein, and so on.
Some of the kids are down-the-line loyalists. Some even succeed their father as dictator (as in North Korea and Syria). Some have doubts. A few defect. All are rocked by prison, war, exile, and the like. These men and women lead all too interesting lives.
And from this new book, we learn a little more about tyranny, freedom, fate, choice, and people.