The Dictators Rulebook

The crimes of Franco



From Mussolini to Saddam Hussein, Dictators have shaped the world we live in. But how did they do it? What methods did they use to seize and maintain power? How did they overcome the forces that resisted them? What ultimately caused their downfall and brought about the end of their regimes? Today, these questions are more relevant than ever. This series will answer them by examining the tactics used by six different tyrants of the 20th century.



Season 1
  • Dictators Rulebook: Kim Il Sung


    A look at the methods used by Kim il Sung to transform North Korea into the most controlled society on Earth. After taking power in 1950, Kim's regime attempted to shape every aspect of its citizens' lives, down to their very perception of reality. Today, his grandson Kim Jung Un maintains the family tradition of wielding absolute power and brainwashing citizens to believe that the Kims are gods, and that they live in a paradise on Earth.

  • Dictators Rulebook: Saddam Hussein


    An examination of the techniques and tactics Saddam Hussein used to rise from a low level enforcer to become the supreme leader of Iraq. Through his brutal use of violence, intimidation and torture Saddam Hussein managed to rule the nation for nearly a quarter of a century until he was finally deposed by US forces during the Invasion of Iraq in 2003. Few dictators loom so large in recent history.

  • Dictators Rulebook: Benito Mussolini


    A study of the methods used by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini to rise to power and turn Italy into the first fascist state. A master of propaganda, he dubbed himself "Il Duce" (the leader) and delivered bombastic speeches in which he idealized a fascist culture and promised to return Italy to the grandeur of Ancient Rome. Instead he created a one-party dictatorship and kept his grip on power for two long decades.

  • Dictators Rulebook: Francisco Franco


    An exploration of the methods and tactics of Generalissimo Francisco Franco, who controlled Spain with absolute power for four decades. Employing violence and terror learned in colonial warfare, Franco led the 1936 military coup that overthrew the legitimately elected government and went on to rule the nation as his personal fiefdom until his death in 1975. The mass graves of his victims are being exhumed to this day.

  • Dictators Rulebook: Manuel Noriega


    A study of the methods used by Manuel Noriega to rise from poverty to become dictator of Panama for six tumultuous years in the 1980s. As Chief of Intelligence he was the most feared man in Panama. He developed connections inside and outside the country that made him rich, powerful, and a key ally of the US in the region, while also working for Fidel Castro and the Medellin drug cartel, among others.

  • Dictators Rulebook: Idi Amin


    A look at the techniques used by Idi Amin to rise from humble beginnings and build a powerful dictatorship in Uganda. Amin became an expert at deploying military force to achieve political power, a lesson he first learned from the British as a soldier in the colonial army. Through a combination of populist charm and brutal violence, backed up by a vast police state, Idi Amin managed to rule Uganda for eight years.