From the NYT:
Dictators Get the Deaths They Deserve
by Simon Sebag Montefiore
How about Mao? Died at 82.
How about Stalin? I read a book about Stalin once. He lived his three score and ten and died on his beloved couch, unchallenged master of the world's largest land empire. Most of his henchmen who survived the 1930s lived into old age, too.* The book was called The Court of the Red Czar
and it was by ... let me check ... Simon Sebag Montefiore. (He's got some explanation for why Stalin got the death he deserved, but I think it shows a certain lack of imagination.)
In my experience, most people's deaths aren't that much fun. Do they get the deaths they deserve, too?
* The one henchman who got done in was Stalin's fellow Georgian, Beria, who took command upon Stalin's death. The odd thing about Beria that nobody remembers these days is, vicious as he was, his policy upon taking power was proto-Gorbachevian. He figured on letting East Germany go, negotiating a strategic peace with the U.S., and de-Bolshevizing the Soviet Union. But then he got cocky and forgot to bring his pistol to a Politburo meeting ...