Dictator's Playbook


Learn how six dictators, from Mussolini to Saddam Hussein, shaped the world. How did they seize and lose power? What forces were against them? Each episode is a revealing portrait of brutality and power.

All Past Episodes

Idi Amin

56:46 | #106 | TV-14

See how Idi Amin used military force to achieve power and build his dictatorship in Uganda. Through a combination of populist charm and brutal violence, he ruled for eight years - until his strategic blunders brought him down.

Francisco Franco

56:46 | #105 | TV-14

Learn how Francisco Franco used the tactics of colonial war to win control of Spain. Driven by a deeply conservative vision, he used torture, murder, and incarceration to transform Spanish Society.

Manuel Noriega

56:46 | #104 | TV-14

Watch Manuel Noriega rise through the Panamanian military to become chief of intelligence - and then, a military dictator. He spied for the United States, but in the end, money laundering, drug trafficking, and political crimes led to his downfall.

Benito Mussolini

56:46 | #103 | TV-14

See why Benito Mussolini was considered a pioneer among 20th-century dictators. From undermining judges to indoctrinating children, he forged tactics for seizing power. He also created fascism, an ideology that would plunge Europe into darkness.

Saddam Hussein

56:46 | #102 | TV-14

Learn how Saddam Hussein ruled Iraq with an iron fist for over 30 years. To maintain power, he used fear, intimidation, and violence like few others in history, but he made the fatal mistake of believing his regime could take on the whole world.

Kim Il Sung

56:46 | #101 | TV-14

Witness Kim Il Sung's transformation from guerrilla fighter to brutal dictator of North Korea. How did he build the most controlled society on earth and launch a dictatorship that has lasted for three generations?

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