Children of Monsters

What’s it like to be the kid of a dictator? This is the subject of Jay Nordlinger’s new book, Children of Monsters: An Inquiry into the Sons and Daughters of Dictators.

In a 10-minute conversation with The Bookmonger, Nordlinger describes a rogue’s gallery of bad men — and how their kids turned out. He describes sons and daughters who became monsters themselves as well as sons and daughters who led admirable lives. There seems to be no rule of thumb. But there are stories, lots of them, and Jay shares a few good ones.

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There are 5 comments.

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  1. PHCheese Inactive

    I was in basic training with the son of Omar Torrijos of Panama in 1969. It was some kind of hushed program for the CIA. I remember overhearing the CO asking the first Sargant how he was doing. The Top said ” the apple doesn’t fall far fom the tree”

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  2. Douglas Inactive

    Offtopic, I know, but after seeing tonight’s trending hashtag on Twitter…”#ShoutYourAbortion … I couldn’t help but seeing the book title and thinking that the real children of monsters were the children snuffed out by their own mothers. Most of the rogue’s gallery in the book probably couldn’t hold a candle to the collective of mothers that willingly, and in some cases, proudly, had their own children ripped from their wombs.

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  3. Cat III Member
    Cat III

    What a fascinating topic. I’m glad Jay didn’t draw any sweeping conclusions, because like with serial killers, the data pool is too small. That doesn’t mean it can’t make for some interesting case studies. Good for Jay, writing about something that’s not expressly political (even if related to politics).

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  4. John Penfold Member
    John Penfold

    I served in Manila in the last years of Marcos reign.  His and his Sec Defense Enirile’schildren were little monsters according to insiders and street rumors.  I don’t know what has happened to them since.  It’s about accountability.  They were free to do what they wanted.  Lord Acton got it right and it takes a saint to not succumb to total freedom from accountability.   It goes well beyond children of monsters, just being the children of the wildly rich or politically powerful is difficult enough to grow up unscarred unless the parents pay close and appropriate attention.  In the case of Tojo’s sons, they’re Japanese, they are always accountable when they are in Japan.  When not, watch out.

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  5. Eugene Kriegsmann Member
    Eugene Kriegsmann

    An excellent interview, one of the best on this podcast. This is largely because Jay Nordlinger is not only a superb writer, he is also a great  speaker. Most authors I have heard speak are not good at interviews.

    • #5
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