Real Dictators

Real Dictators

Real Dictators continues to be available for free wherever you get your shows. For ad-free listening, exclusive content and early access to new episodes, join Noiser+. Now available for Apple and Android users. Click the Noiser+ banner on Apple or go to noiser.com/subscriptions to get started with a 7-day free trial. Real Dictators is the award-winning podcast hosted by Paul McGann that explores the hidden lives of history's tyrants. Follow @Noiser_Podcasts on Twitter for updates on our shows.

Episodes

November 30, 2022 58 min

At the age of 93, Mugabe’s days in office are numbered. But the succession crisis threatens to tear Zimbabwe apart. In South Africa, exiles hatch an extraordinary plan to oust him. And when the dictator’s own wife throws her hat into the ring, Mugabe’s house of cards will begin tumbling down…

A Noiser production, written by Duncan Barrett.

This is Part 4 of 4.

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After two decades in office, Mugabe has already shown himself to be a tyrant. At the dawn of the 21st century, the outside world sits up and takes notice. Mugabe seizes white-owned farms and drags his country into the greatest economic crisis since the Wall Street Crash. But the resistance is growing stronger…

A Noiser production, written by Duncan Barrett.

This is Part 3 of 4.

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Mugabe is now the leader of independent Zimbabwe. But behind the façade of democracy, he is already governing through fear. Emboldened, he unleashes a campaign of genocide on his opponents. For now, for the most part, the international community turns a blind eye. But the arrival of a new prime minister - not in Zimbabwe but in faraway Britain - will herald Mugabe’s first great crisis…

A Noiser production, written by Duncan Barrett.

...

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November 9, 2022 54 min

For almost four decades, Robert Mugabe held the reins of power in Zimbabwe with an iron grip. As a youthful idealist, he led a revolutionary movement that put his country back in African hands. But once in power, he presided over a regime of brutality and jaw-dropping corruption. So what events helped form Mugabe? And how did he manoeuvre himself from obscurity to power?

A Noiser production, written by Duncan Barrett.

This is Part 1 ...

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Beginning Wednesday November 9th. We’re in Zimbabwe for the extraordinary story of Robert Mugabe.

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October 18, 2022 54 min

With power finally in Bolshevik hands, state terror arrives in Russia. The Soviet Union is born. But, installed in Red Square, Lenin’s health is ailing. Will his creation live on beyond his death? And which of his lieutenants, jostling for position, will take up the baton?

A Noiser production, written by Dan Smith.

This is Part 4 of 4.

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The Tsar is deposed as the people of the Russian Empire rise up. Marooned in Switzerland, Vladimir Lenin prepares for an extraordinary journey home, by land and sea. It will involve the closest of shaves, multiple disguises, and the covert help of Russia’s deadliest enemy…

A Noiser production, written by Dan Smith.

This is Part 3 of 4.

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October 4, 2022 42 min

Vladimir Lenin meets Joseph Stalin. Turning to crime to pay their way, the revolutionaries struggle to stay ahead of the authorities. As the First World War upends Russia, the Bolsheviks wait for their moment. In the meantime, Lenin’s love life takes an unconventional turn...

A Noiser production, written by Dan Smith.

This is Part 2 of 4.

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September 27, 2022 55 min

Vladimir Lenin changed the course of history like very few ever have. He turned Russia upside down and created the first communist state. As the founder of the Soviet Union, he ensured the world would never be the same again. But long before his time in power, his life is something straight out of a spy thriller. Young Vladimir enjoys a happy, comfortable childhood. That is, until a double tragedy puts him on a very different path....

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The story of Lenin - leader of the Russian Revolution, founder of the Soviet Union - begins Wednesday September 28th.

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September 6, 2022 54 min

With Napoleon deposed and in exile, it appears to be game over. But even now he is planning a comeback. After the mother of all prison breaks, Napoleon marches back up through France. Reinstating himself as emperor, he will rally his troops for one last battle...

A Noiser production, written by Jeff Dawson.

This is Part 6 of 6.

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August 30, 2022 55 min

Napoleon’s blockade of Britain begins. Amidst the fall-out, France launches an invasion of Spain. The Duke of Wellington arrives on the scene. After another dispute with Russia, Bonaparte assembles his biggest ever army. It will do the unthinkable and march on Moscow...

A Noiser production, written by Jeff Dawson.

This is Part 5 of 6.

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Bonaparte storms back into Italy, reconquering all that had been lost. Back home, in Notre-Dame Cathedral, thousands of dignitaries watch on as the untouchable general crowns himself emperor. Intent on destroying Britain, he plans a seaborne invasion. But Lord Nelson has other ideas…

A Noiser production, written by Jeff Dawson.

This is Part 4 of 6.

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August 16, 2022 51 min

Napoleon sails for the Middle East. After the Battle of the Pyramids, a scientific mission makes remarkable findings, introducing the Western world to the mysteries of Ancient Egypt. But after a drubbing from Britain’s naval supremo, Horatio Nelson, Napoleon does a runner. His return to Paris is timed to perfection. Almost by accident, Bonaparte will seize power...

A Noiser production, written by Jeff Dawson.

This is Part 3 of 6.

For ...

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August 9, 2022 45 min

After a quickie wedding, Napoleon Bonaparte dashes south to take command of the French Army in Italy. Here he announces himself with a devastating display of battlefield brilliance. In Milan, he gets a taste for political rule and good living. Napoleon will return to Paris both as a military hero and a budding statesman...

A Noiser production, written by Jeff Dawson.

This is Part 2 of 6.

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August 2, 2022 51 min

You’ve heard the name Napoleon Bonaparte. But who was he, really? In 1769 a boy is born on the Mediterranean island of Corsica. He will go on to become an emperor - a virtual god in his adopted homeland, a nemesis to his international foes. So how does Napoleon become the most powerful man on Earth? And why doesn’t he stop, even once he has it all?

A Noiser production, written by Jeff Dawson.

This is Part 1 of 6.

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The story of Napoleon Bonaparte begins Wednesday August 3rd.

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July 5, 2022 57 min

Pol Pot constructs a secretive one-party state. Cambodia descends into hell as his twisted social experiment begins. Finally, the shifting sands of geopolitics will create challenges for the Khmer Rouge. Pol Pot will be forced back into the jungle. But even then, the man with untold blood on his hands will somehow evade justice.

A Noiser production, written by Dan Smith. Many thanks to Elizabeth Becker and University of Washington L...

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The Khmer Rouge launch their revolution against Sihanouk… until Sihanouk himself is stabbed in the back. America’s action in Vietnam escalates, spilling over the border with catastrophic consequences. The enigmatic Pol Pot will emerge from the bloodshed to become the most powerful man in the land. At the outset of ‘Year Zero’, the true horror will begin...

A Noiser production, written by Dan Smith.

This is Part 3 of 4.

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Saloth Sar, the young man who will become Pol Pot, arrives in France in 1949. In just a few short months, he will be transformed into a die-hard communist rebel. Meanwhile, in Cambodia, things are coming to the boil. Returning from Europe, Sar goes to ground with the Vietnamese communists. He begins to prepare his very own revolution…

A Noiser production, written by Dan Smith.

This is Part 2 of 4.

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