Patrick Malcomson Reviews Tyrants: A History of Power Injustice and Terror

April 16, 2018

Tyrants is the third book by Waller Newell dealing specifically with the subject of tyranny. As such, it is the product of lengthy, thoughtful, and careful scholarly study spanning a number of decades. Newell’s work as a whole has been the study of the statesman and the tyrant, and the essential difference between the two. Needless to say, he does not agree with Hobbes that the difference is one based simply on the emotional disposition of the ruled towards their ruler. I think Tyrants may therefore best be viewed as the third volume of one extended study on tyranny. It is an excellent book, and one is hard put to describe briefly the richness Newell’s history brings to his ever-deepening study of the nature of the tyrant and the political phenomenon of tyranny.


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