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Head of Zeus
Children of the Night
19 Aug 2021 * HARDBACK * £25 * 9781789543162

A darkly humorous and horrifying history of some of the strangest dictators that Europe has ever seen.

Non Fiction / HBLW (Modern History)
Extent: 496 pages  Format: 234 x 153 mm Illus: 2 x 8pp col
Exclusive: GB CA AU NZ IN ZA SG US
Dictatorland
Also by Paul Kenyon
Children of the Night: The Strange and Epic Story of Modern Romaniaby Paul Kenyon

A vivid, brilliant, darkly humorous and horrifying history of some of the strangest dictators that Europe has ever seen.

'A witty and page-turning narrative full of grotesque characters' Misha Glenny

'Kenyon relates all this with verve [and] humour ... He patiently untangles the complicated webs of loyalty and enmity' Literary Review

'Absolutely essential reading for anyone interested in Romania past and present' John Simpson

Balanced precariously on the shifting fault line between East and West, Romania's schizophrenic, often violent past is one of the great untold stories of modern Europe.

The country that gave us Vlad Dracula, and whose citizens consider themselves descendants of ancient Rome, has traditionally preferred the status of enigmatic outsider. But this beautiful and unexplored land has experienced some of the most disastrous leaderships of the last century.

After a relatively benign period led by a dutiful King and his vivacious British-born Queen, the country oscillated wildly. Its interwar rulers form a gallery of bizarre characters and extreme movements: the corrupt and mentally unbalanced King Carol; the fascist death cult led by Corneliu Codreanu; the vain General Ion Antonescu, who seized power in 1940 and led the country into a catastrophic alliance with Nazi Germany. After 1945 power was handed to Romania's tiny communist party, under which it experienced severe repression, purges and collectivisation.

Then in 1965, Nicolae Ceaușescu came to power. And thus began the strangest dictatorship of all.

Paul Kenyon is a distinguished BBC correspondent and BAFTA award-winning journalist and author. He has reported from danger-zones around the world for BBC Panorama, pushing the boundaries of investigative journalism and asking the questions many wouldn't dare – from tackling Gaddafi's son in a cage full of lions, to secretly filming Iran's secret nuclear sites. He's even faked his own death in a Haitian funeral parlour to expose a group of fraudsters. Kenyon is the recipient of an Association of International Broadcasters Award, three Royal Television Society awards, and is the author of Dictatorland, a Financial Times Book of the Year in 2018. He lives in London with his wife, Flavia.

The modern history of Romania is bizarre and bloody, and one that is little understood.

Also draws on the author's personal story – his wife is Romanian and they met while he was reporting there for the BBC. They are both happy to speak about this in the press.

Paul is a distinguished BBC correspondent and BAFTA award-winning journalist and author.

Dictatorland has sold more than 40,000 copies.

MARKET: Dictatorland; Tim Marshall; Frank Dikotter.


'Kenyon relates all this with verve [and] humour ... He patiently untangles the complicated webs of loyalty and enmity, that crisscrossed the royal court, the military camarilla and the politburo alike' Literary Review

'A witty and page-turning narrative full of grotesque characters' Misha Glenny

'Paul Kenyon sweeps away the myths of romance and horror that cling to this fascinating and mysterious country' Allan Little

'Absolutely essential reading for anyone interested in Romania past and present' John Simpson

'This is a book that will leave you astonished, exhausted and curious ... An unapologetic page turner' Spectator

'Witty and fluid, Kenyon's prose is readable without being superficial. His book is an engaging introduction to the rich history of a country that is often stereotyped and misunderstood' New Statesman

'Paul Kenyon's book delves into this history, bringing to life a rogues' gallery of characters' BBC History Magazine

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