April 28, 2021

Banner image with dictator faces

What was Pol Pot eating while two million Cambodians were dying of hunger? Did Idi Amin really eat human flesh? And why was Fidel Castro obsessed with one particular cow?

Traveling across four continents, from the ruins of Iraq to the savannahs of Kenya, Witold Szablowski tracked down the personal chefs of five dictators known for the oppression and massacre of their own citizens--Iraq's Saddam Hussein, Uganda's Idi Amin, Albania's Enver Hoxha, Cuba's Fidel Castro, and Cambodia's Pol Pot--and listened to their stories over sweet-and-sour soup, goat-meat pilaf, bottles of rum, and games of gin rummy. Dishy, deliciously readable, and dead serious, How to Feed a Dictator provides a knife's-edge view of life under tyranny.

NYU DC Dialogues along with the NYU Remarque Institute and The NYU Eastern Europe Workshop hosted this dialogue with Witold Szablowski on his book, How to Feed a Dictator: Saddam Hussein, IDI Amin, Enver Hoxha, Fidel Castro, and Pol Pot Through the Eyes of Their Cooks.

Moderated by Larry Wolff, this discussion included Laura Shapiro, Ruth Reichl, Krishnendu Ray, and Bill Buford.

NYU DC Dialogues

NYU. Florence

Remarque Institute Logo

Witold Szablowski

Witold Szablowski

Krishnendu Ray

Krishnendu Ray

Laura Shapiro

Laura Shapiro

Bill Buford

Bill Buford

Ruth Reichl

Ruth Reichl

Larry Wolff

Larry Wolff