'Brilliant' Sunday Times
How does a truly disastrous leader – a sociopath, a demagogue, a tyrant – come to power? How, and why, does a tyrant hold on to power? And what goes on in the hidden recesses of the tyrant's soul?
For help in understanding our most urgent contemporary dilemmas, William Shakespeare has no peer.
'Brilliant, timely' Margaret Atwood, on Twitter
'A scintillating book, uncannily illuminating about current politics, as perceptive about the victims of tyranny as it is about the tyrants themselves' Nicholas Hytner
In this brilliant, beautifully organized, exceedingly readable study of Shakespeare’s tyrants and their tyrannies—their dreadful narcissistic follies, their usurpations and their craziness and their cruelties, their arrogant incompetence, their paranoid viciousness, their falsehoods and their flattery hunger—Stephen Greenblatt manages to elucidate obliquely our own desperate (in Shakespeare’s words) “general woe”.
A scintillating book, uncannily illuminating about current politics, as perceptive about the victims of tyranny as it is about the tyrants themselves.
Brisk and highly readable