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The Top 10 Modern Despots

The Top 10  Modern DespotsRankDespot NamePositionCountryPeriod of regimeDeathsSource 1Mao ZedongChairman of the Communist Party of ChinaChina 1945 – 197644.5 to …

The Top 10  Modern Despots

Rank

Despot Name

Position

Country

Period of regime

Deaths

Source

1

Mao Zedong

Chairman of the Communist Party of China

China

1945 – 1976

44.5 to 72M

The Black Book of Communism –  Stephane Courtois

2

Adolph Hitler

Fuhrer and Chancellor of Germany
Reichskanzler

Germany

1934 – 1945

25 M

The Black Book of Communism – Stephane Courtois

3

Joseph Stalin

Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR

Soviet Union

1946 – 1953

20 M

Stalin: Breaker of Nations – Robert Conquest

4

Vladimir Lenin

Chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars

Soviet Union

1917 – 1924

9 M

The Unknown Lenin -Richard Pipes

5

Mengistu Haile Mariam

President

Ethiopia

1987 – 1991

1.2 M to 2 M

Revolution and Genocide in Ethiopia and Cambodia – Edward Kissi

6

Pol Pot

Prime Minister of Democratic Kampuchea (Cambodia)

Cambodia

1975 – 1979

1.5 Mil

The Pol Pot Regime – Ben Kiernan

7

Kim Il Sung

President of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

North Korea

1972 – 1994

600,000 to 1 Mil

Washington post.com

8

Idi Amin

President

Uganda

1971 – 1979

300000

MSN Encarta

9

Slobodan Milosevic

President

Serbia

1989 – 1997

230000

Slobodan Milosevic and the Destruction of Yugoslavia – Louis Sell

10

Francisco Macias Nguema

President

Equatorial Guinea

1969-1979

50,000 to 80,000

Twentieth Century Atlas

** The above list speaks about “modern despots” in living memory from 1900 onwards.

** Rankings are based on the number of killings (non-combatent deaths by decree or direct or indirect results of actions or policies of the despot during their regime).

1. For Mao Zedong, Twentieth Century Atlas quotes references from about 14 sources with varying figures, the median however is in the range of 45.75 to 52.5 million people killed.
2.The Black Book of Communism by Stephane Courtois is a saga about a history of repressions, both political and civilian, by Communist states, including extrajudicial executions, deportations, and artificial famines.The book also compares Communism and Nazism.
3. Robert Conquest is one of the better known authors on Russian history, specifically on the rule of Stalin and the Communist era.
4. Richard Edgar Pipes is an American scholar specializing in Russian history. A Professor of History, Emeritus, at Harvard University, Pipes was also the Director of Eastern European and Soviet Affairs at the National Security Council in 1981-82.
5. Revolution and Genocide in Ethiopia and Cambodia is the first comparative study of the Ethiopian and Cambodian revolutions of the early 1970s. One of the few comparative studies of genocide in the Third World, this book presents the positions of traditional genocide scholars.
6. Benedict F. Kiernan is the Whitney Griswold Professor of History, Professor of International and Area Studies and Director of the Genocide Studies Program at Yale University. The book is about How Pol Pot Came to Power, begins with the DPK takeover following the fall of the Lon Nol government. The book provides a detail account on systematic study of the Pol Pot regime.
9. Louis Sell offers an insider’s account on the life and times of Slobodan Milosevic, by covering both the domestic Yugoslav side of the collapse and the international interventions in the ensuing Balkan wars.
10. Twentieth Century Atlas gives an account of death tolls and casualty statistics for wars, dictatorships and genocides.

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