Monday, April 25, 2011

Novel Publicity Book Tours: The King Whisperers

The King Whisperers: Power Behind the Throne, from Rasputin to Rove
"Throughout history, behind so many de facto rulers, there can often be found a shadowy puppetmaster pulling the strings. Using examples from Machiavelli, Catherine de Medici and Alexander Hamilton to Dick Cheney, Zhou Enlai and Joseph Stalin, Kerwin Swint presents profiles of notorious “king whisperers,” spanning the globe and historical periods, showing how they employed unique styles of power politics to wrest control. From spies, silver-tongued devils, and the truly evil, this is a brilliant tapestry of behind-the-scenes schemers of all shapes and sizes."

 Published 2011 by Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.

Kerwin Swint’s work presents history in such a informative and accessible way that everyone, from the serious academic to the part time history buff, can relate to the many faces of The King Whispers. If you are looking for a stuffy, boring, read, this is not the book.

Swint breaks up the book into ten categories of “whispers”. From the Machiavellians and The Spies, to The Silver Tongued Devils and the Truly Evil, the many faces of the powers behind those in power are represented. We learn that from the beginning of time to the present day there are those who are more comfortable running the show from the shadows then being at center stage. Despite this they all share a common motivator, the need for power and control.

Swint also has the gift of humanizing those he writes about. He never sugar coats or justifies the consequences of their political and tyrannical aspirations, but he shows you the people behind the mask. Many of these power brokers came from nothing to achieve the position of being able to sway policy and control nations with a single word. Two of the most powerful examples of this come from the chapter on the Truly Evil. They are Lenin and his “whisper” Stalin. Stalin was of non Russian descent and from humble beginnings, he was an abused child. He was power hungry and ambitious, using the Russian Revolution to climb to power under his great teacher Vladimir Lenin. The debate goes on today for who was responsible for more death and ethnic cleansing, Stalin or Hitler.

One of my favorite chapters was chapter 10, Schemers. Swint starts this chapter off in The Old Testament with the story of Haman and ends with the story of The Mad Monk, Grigori Rasputin. Rasputin was an advisor to the Russian tsarina Alexandra Romanov, who’s murder to many is one of the biggest “cold cases” in history. We learn that Schemers are often the “wannabes” of history who’s stories almost always end in violent ways. But their influences were certainly able to change the path of history.

Swint is able to bring these often overlooked figures in history to life with, in most cases, as little as six or seven pages. I did find myself wanting more, and I will be looking for texts referenced in the end notes to further explore the lives of these schemers and planners. In fact I would love Swint to write a whole book on just female schemers and King Whispers. I found the stories of Isabella of France, Catherine de Medici, and Agrippina the Younger especially fascinating and would love to read more of modern day women in the role of advisor.

Exceptional and detailed research and devotion to the topic show throughout this book. Mr. Swint has won me over and I will be reading his preceding works. I highly recommend this book for anyone looking to learn more about the history of politics and the social impact those driven by power have made over the centuries. This is a timley and powerful read.

Whether for love of power, or money, there has always existed throughout history those who were able to maneuver themselves, through political instinct, personal ambition and even opportunity, to a place where they were able to change the course of nations through their council. And there will continue to be those power players until the end of time. Kerwin Swint sums it up in his end quote by H. L. Mencken; “The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false face for the urge to rule it.”

Please vote for my blog in the traffic-breaker poll for this tour. The blogger with the most votes wins a free promotional twitterview and a special winner’s badge. I want that to be me! You can vote in the poll by visiting The official King Whisperers blog tour page and scrolling all the way to the bottom.

The next word for the book give-away is AUTHORS Learn more about the give-away and enter to win 1 of 3 copies on  The official King Whisperers blog tour page.  The other 2 copies are being given-away courtesy of the GoodReads author program, And don’t forget to stop by the  to discuss the King Whisperers (including questions from the book club guide)

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