What did dictators eat? Sometimes simply obscene amounts of the best their nations could offer, but more often their humble origins, or embarrassing medical conditions, or simple lack of interest in food meant their tastes were unpretentious - ranging from human flesh, to raw garlic salad, to Quality Street. Dictators' Dinners is an investigation into what some of the world's most notorious 20th century despots have enjoyed at their dinner tables, and with whom. Here we learn of their foibles, their eccentricities and their frequent terror of poisoning - something no number of food tasters was ever able to assuage. For a selection of 25 former national figureheads across the world, each section comprises an outline of the dictator's history, a short essay on their particular eating habits, table manners, digestive systems etc. and one or two of their favourite recipes.
Victoria Clark is an award-winning former Observer foreign correspondent in Eastern Europe and Moscow between 1989 and 1996. She has written five works of non-fiction. Melissa Scott, an Arabic-speaker, worked in the newsroom of MBC satellite television before moving into editorial work in the publishing industry.
Africa Mobuto Sese Seko - Congo Idi Amin - Uganda Jean-Bedel Bokassa - Central African Republic Asia Pacific Kim Jung Il - North Korea Ferdinand Marcos - Philippines Mao Tse Tung - China Ho Chi Minh - Vietnam Latin America Fedel Castro - Cuba Alfredo Stroessner - Paraguay Manuel Noriega - Panama Rafael Trujillo - Dominican Republic Francois Duvalier ('Papa Doc') - Haiti Middle East Saddam Hussein - Iraq Muammar Gaddafi - Libya El Aidine Ben Ali - Tunisia Ayatollah Khomeini - Iran Gamal Abdel Nasser - Egypt Europe Benito Mussolini - Italy Adolf Hitler - Germany Francisco Franco Bahamonde ('General Franco') - Spain Eastern Block Nicolae Ceausescu - Romania Josef Stalin - Russia Josep Broz Tito - Yugoslavia Erich Honiker - East German (DDR), Saparmurat Atayevich Niyazov - Turkmenistan