Psychoses Of Power: African Personal Dictatorships

In This Review

Psychoses Of Power: African Personal Dictatorships

By Samuel Decalo
Westview Press, 1989
222 pp. $29.95

Ranging from the extremes of megalomania to out-and-out madness, Africa's three bloodiest dictators indelibly shaped outside views of the continent and left their countries a legacy of violence that shows no signs of abating. Idi Amin of Uganda, Macias Nguema of Equatorial Guinea and Bedel Bokassa of the Central African Republic were each catapulted to power during a hasty and ill-considered colonial withdrawal and each compensated for personal insufficiencies with the unbridled use of force. Explaining their idiosyncratic behavior vividly, the author carefully distinguishes their pathological tyranny from the quite rational authoritarianism of many of their fellow African leaders.

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