History’s Most Insane Rulers: Lunatics, Eccentrics, and Megalomaniacs From Emper

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Few mixtures are as toxic as absolute power and insanity. When nothing stands between a leader’s delusion whims and seeing them carried them out, all sorts of bizarre outcomes are possible. Whether it is Ottoman Sultan Ibrahim I practicing archery on palace servants and sending out his advisers to find the fattest woman in the empire for his wife or Turkmenistan President Turkmenbashi renaming the days of the week after himself and constructing an 80-foot golden statue that revolves to face the sun, crazed leaders have plagued society for millenia. This book will look at the lives of the ten most mentally unbalanced figures in history. Some suffered from genetic disorders that led to schizophrenia, such as French King Charles VI, who thought he was made of glass. Others believed themselves to be God’s representatives on earth and wrote religious writings that they guaranteed to the reader would get them into heaven, even if they were barely literate. Whatever their background, these rulers show that dynastic politics made sure that a rightful heir always got on the throne – despite that heir’s mental condition – and that power can destroy a mind worse than any mental illness.

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