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Thugs: How History's Most Notorious Despots Transformed the World through Terror, Tyranny, and Mass Murder

Recorded on August 28, 2007

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium

Thug.  Tyrant.  Despot.  These are all words to describe incredibly bad people who led their societies by doing incredibly bad things.  From Hitler to Hussein, Napoleon to Pol Pot, Alexander the Great to Idi Amin - author, columnist and commentator Micah Halpern examines the lives, politics, and horrible deeds of history's most notorious world leaders. 

Some of the characters are far worse than others.  Some were so absolutely self-absorbed that they had no idea history would show them in a bad light.  Some were actually larger than life.  Some were just pitiful.  But, like it or not, they reshaped and continue to shape our life and times.  In Halpern's view, not to see that is not to understand history and the impact that leaders and the events they precipitate have on their own small worlds, on the world at large, and for generations to come.

Micah D. Halpern, a syndicated columnist, is a frequent analyst on terrorism and the Middle East for radio and television and has appeared regularly on CBS, Fox, and MSNBC.  He has been invited for consultations in the White House with terror analysts and has addressed conferences sponsored by the Department of Justice.  His expertise as a historian was called on by PBS for their four-part series on Herod and by The History Channel for the documentary film Masada in which he also appears.