Comparative Authoritarianism: The Forgotten Works

The following is a list of books on dictators and dictatorship that have been largely forgotten by the field of comparative authoritarianism. Almost all of them are comparative in nature and many were published before Hannah Arendt's The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951). The table of contents for each book has been uploaded where possible and a PDF of the entire list is available here.


If you know of any other books worthy of being on this list, please email me here.



Arciniegas, German. 1953. The State of Latin America. London: Cassell and Company.


Armstrong, Harry. 1932. Grey Wolf Mustafa Kemal: An Intimate Study of a Dictator. London: Arthur Barker.


Bainville, Jacques. 1937. Dictators. London: Jonathan Cape.


Barbu, Zevedei. 1956. Democracy and Dictatorship: Their Psychology and Patterns of Life. New York: Grove Press.


Battaglia, Otto. 1931. Dictatorship on Trial. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company.

Box, Pelham. 1925. Three Master Builders and Another: Studies in Modern Revolutionary and Liberal Statesmanship. London: Jarrolds Publishers.

Bramstedt, Ernst. 1945. Dictatorship and Political Police: The Technique of Control by Fear. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co.


Broad, Lewis and Leonard Russell. 1935. The Way of the Dictators. London: Kennikat Press.


Brooks, Robert. 1935. Deliver us from Dictators! Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.


Burch, Betty. 1964. Dictatorship and Totalitarianism. Princeton: D. Van Nostrand Company.


Burns, Cecil. 1934. The Challenge to Democracy. London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd.

Bychowski, Gustav. 1948. Dictators and Disciples: From Caesar to Stalin. New York: International Universities Press.


Calderon, Francisco. 1913. Latin America: Its Rise and Progress. London: T. Fisher Unwin.


Cambo, F. 1930. Les Dictatures. Paris: Librairie Felix Alcan. 

Carr, Albert. 1939. Juggernaut: The Path of Dictatorship. New York: The Viking Press.


Carr, Albert. 1940. Men of Power: A Book of Dictators. New York: The Viking Press.

Chakrabongse, Chula. 1948. The Education of the Enlightened Despots: A Review of the Youth of Louis XV of France, Frederick II of Prussia, Joseph II of Austria, and Catherine II of Russia. London: Eyre & Spottiswood.


Chambers, John. 1941. Dictators: An Introductory Study in the Social Origins of Dictatorship. New York: Thomas Nelson and Sons.


Childs, Harwood. 1936. Propaganda and Dictatorship. Princeton: Princeton University Press.


Cobban, Alfred. 1939. Dictatorship: Its History and Theory. London: Jonathan Cape.


Curtis, Albert. 1937. South American Dictators during the First Century of Independence. Washington: George Washington University Press.


Dean, Vera, Bailey Diffie, Malbone Graham and Mildred Wertheimer. 1935. New Governments in Europe: The Trend Toward Dictatorship. New York: Thomas Nelson and Sons.

Ford, Guy. 1935. Dictatorship in the Modern World. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.


Gagliardo, John. 1967. Enlightened Despotism. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.


Gooch, George. 1935. Dictatorship in Theory and Practice. London: Watts & Co.


Goslin, Ryllis. 1936. Dictatorship. New York: Headline Books.


Graham, Robert. 1933. Portrait of a Dictator: Francisco Solano Lopez (Paraguay, 1865-1870). London: William Heinemann.


Hallgarten, George. 1954. Why Dictators? The Causes and Forms of Tyrannical Rule Since 600 B.C. New York: The Macmillan Company.


Hallgarten, George. 1960. Devils or Saviours: A History of Dictatorship since 600BC. London: Oswald Wolff Publishers.


Hamill, Hugh. 1965. Dictatorship in Spanish America. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.


Jane, Cecil. 1966. Liberty and Despotism in Spanish America. New York: Cooper Square Publishers.


Johnson, Albert. 1909. The Age of the Enlightened Despot, 1660-1789. London: Methuen & Co.


Kantorowicz, Hermann. 1935. Dictatorships: A Sociological Study. Cambridge: W. Heffer & Sons Ltd.


Kellett, E. 1937. The Story of Dictatorship: From the Earliest Times Till Today. New York: E.P. Dutton and Company.


Kohn, Hans. 1939. Revolutions and Dictatorships: Essays in Contemporary History. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.


Lucas, Frank. 1938. The Delights of Dictatorship. Cambridge: W. Heffer & Sons.


Marriott, John. 1935. Dictatorship and Democracy. Oxford: Clarendon Press.


Owen, Frank. 1940. The Three Dictators: Mussolini, Stalin and Hitler. London: George Allen & Unwin.


Pierson, William and Federico Gil. 1957. Governments of Latin America. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company.


Portus, Garnet. 1944. They Wanted to Rule the World: Studies of Six Dictators and Other Essays. Sydney: Angus and Robertson.


Price, George. 1937. I Know these Dictators. London: George G. Harrap & Co.


Rogers, Lindsay. 1934. Crisis Government. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.


Rubin, Barry. 1987. Modern Dictators: Third World Coup Makers, Strongmen, and Populist Tyrants. New York: New American Library.


Runes, Dagobert. 1963. Despotism: A Pictorial History of Tyranny. New York: Philosophical Library.

Sarmiento, Domingo. 1868. Life in the Argentine Republic in the Days of the Tyrants; or Civilization and Barbarism. New York: Hafner Press.


Sforza, Carlo. 1930. Makers of Modern Europe: Portraits and Personal Impressions and Recollections. London: Elkin Mathews & Marrot.

Sforza, Carlo. 1932. European Dictatorships. London: George Allen & Unwin.


Silone, Ignazio. 1963. The School for Dictators. New York: Atheneum.


Spearman, Diana. 1939. Modern Dictatorship. Oxford: Alden Press.


Stamps, Norman. 1957. Why Democracies Fail: A Critical Evaluation of the Causes of Modern Dictatorships. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press.


Szulc, Tad. 1959. Twilight of the Tyrants. New York: Harold Holt and Company.


Waldman, Milton. 1940. Some English Dictators. London: Blackie & Son Limited.


Williams, Chester. 1941. Ways of Dictatorship. New York: Row, Peterson and Company.


Wriggins, Howard. 1969. The Ruler's Imperative: Strategies for Political Survival in Asia and Africa. New York: Columbia University Press.