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 ...