E book review: History’s Most Insane Rulers: Lunatics, Eccentrics, and Megalomaniacs From Emperor Caligula to Kim Jong Il by Michael Rank

My recent approach has been to review ebooks for kindle from authors who are less well known or just starting out, but I fell across this ebook called “History’s Most Insane Rulers: Lunatics, Eccentrics, and Megalomaniacs From Emperor Caligula to Kim Jong Il” by Michael Rank and had to take a look.

History is fascinating to me and lunatic leaders especially so. It is amazing that we can somehow look past the terrible cruelties and unnecessary hardships enforced or created by these few fruit cakes and see to their inner foolishness. Michael Rank has managed to capture both sides in this relatively concise historical perspective.
Michael Rank is a historian of the Middle East and a former journalist. He is the author of the Kindle #1 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 Rulers, From Emperor Nero to Ivan the Terrible.” This is the third ebook of Michael Rank’s on Amazon.com, but it is the first that I have read.
Not only is this an interesting premise for a history text it is very well written. It describes a large amount of historical information in a easy to read style that captures also enough of a hint of satire to make this macabre text quite entertaining. He has also chosen his cast wisely and not simply filled page after page with the nasty men and women of history. These are the truly mad.
What history teaches us is clearly up to the individual but this text clearly points away from dynastic family interbreeding and the ‘job for life’ culture so endemic in the mindset of your average lunatic leader. Whether democracy is any better will have to await the analysis of historians and perhaps Rank will write a sequel about the true democratic leaders who also happened to be one vote short of a quorum. I would certainly come back and read that ebook.


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