Watch How to Become a Tyrant
How to Become a Tyrant is a six-part docuseries that explores the lives of some of the most famous dictators throughout history, from Adolf Hitler to Saddam Hussein, and how they gained and maintained power. The show, which premiered on Netflix in July 2021, is hosted by Peter Dinklage, best known for his role as Tyrion Lannister in Game of Thrones, and features interviews with experts in political science and history, including Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Waller Newell. Each episode of the series examines a different aspect of the rise of tyrants, from how they got into power in the first place, to how they kept control over their people, to how they fell from grace. The show makes use of a mix of archival footage, recreations, and interviews, as well as Dinklage's narration to tell the stories of these infamous figures. One of the central themes of the series is the idea that tyrants are not simply born that way, but instead are made by various factors, including their environment, upbringing, and the events of their lives. The show spends considerable time exploring the backgrounds of its subjects, revealing how their childhood experiences, relationships with their parents, and early life traumas shaped their personalities and worldview. Another key element of the series is its examination of the techniques used by tyrants to gain and keep power. From propaganda and fear-mongering to surveillance and censorship, the series explores the tools and tactics that tyrants have used throughout history to maintain control over their subjects. Along the way, the show draws comparisons to modern-day political leaders and dictators, making it a timely and thought-provoking exploration of the nature of power and politics. Throughout the series, Dinklage serves as a knowledgeable and engaging guide, narrating the stories of each dictator with a mix of gravitas and humor. His presence lends an air of accessibility to the material, making it easier for viewers to engage with the often-chilling stories being told. The show's experts also provide valuable context and insight into the events being explored. Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, for example, is a political scientist who has spent decades studying the behavior of dictators, and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the series. Waller Newell, a professor of political science and philosophy, provides additional context and analysis, helping to illuminate the underlying dynamics at play in each dictator's story. Overall, How to Become a Tyrant is a fascinating and thought-provoking exploration of power and politics, and how individuals can use these forces to gain and maintain control over others. With its insightful analysis, engaging narration, and timely subject matter, the series is sure to captivate viewers and spark important conversations about the nature of authoritarianism and democracy.