In this book, William Federer consolidates information about both the successful and the failed civilizations of the world. He tracks and analyzes their rise, and sometimes their fall, and does so using quotes and historical references.
Rise of the Tyrant is Volume 2 of the author's Change to Chains series. The first volume is subtitled Rise of the Republic.
Through study of the constructs of different governments and how power is distributed among men and institutions, nations can be better understood. Federer covers successful nations and those that were flawed from the outset, and those that started well but later fell into despotism.
All ancient and modern governments will be better understood after reading and studying this book. The work necessitates some contemplation; it could be read multiple times for maximum impact. Rise of the Tyrant would be suitable for use as a history or political science textbook.
Sources quoted by Federer range from the little known to the very famous. Taken together, they help readers understand the concepts of liberty and tyranny, and the differences between the two. These sources include Jesus, Cicero, Plato, Montesquieu, Ben Franklin, Booker T. Washington, Mark Twain, and U.S. presidents George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Teddy Roosevelt.
Federer also quotes from a 2001 article published by the Iona Institute for Religion & Society in Ireland that says: "In the West we are doing our best to destroy our Christian heritage but in China, Chinese intellectuals are coming around to the view that it is precisely this heritage that has made the West so successful." Iona is a Christian organization but the information in the article is gleaned from the communist Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, which says, "The Christian moral foundation of social and cultural life was what made possible the emergence of capitalism and then the successful transition to democratic politics."
China isn't about to promote Christianity, but it's profoundly ironic that at the same time the Chinese are recognizing Christian morality as beneficial, many in the U.S. and Europe are seeking to eradicate moral norms.
Near the end of the book Federer asks, "Is history repeating itself?" He then quotes Abraham Lincoln on the love of liberty that God planted in Americans, our spirit, and the genius of our own independence. Federer ends the book with Patrick Henry's warning: "It is when a people forget God that tyrants forge their chains."
(Amerisearch, Inc., 2016, 345 pp., $20)