Watch The Dictator's Playbook


Learn how six dictators, from Mussolini to Saddam Hussein, shaped the 20th century. How did they seize and lose power? What forces were against them? Learn the answers in these six immersive hours, each a revealing portrait of brutality and power.

Wednesday 7:00 PM et/pt on PBS
1 Season, 6 Episodes
January 9, 2019
Documentary & Biography
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The Dictator's Playbook Full Episode Guide

  • Idi Amin used lessons from the colonial British Army to build a powerful dictatorship in Uganda.

  • How Francisco Franco used the tactics of colonial war to win control of Spain. Driven by a deeply conservative vision, he used torture, murder and incarceration to transform Spanish society.

  • Watch Manuel Noriega's rise and fall, from his early military days to his dictatorship's sudden end.

  • Meet the man who created fascism, an ideology that would plunge all of Europe into darkness.

  • Learn how Saddam Hussein seized power in Iraq and maintained it for almost 30 years.

  • See how Kim Il Sung created a North Korean dictatorship that has lasted for three generations.

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