The Iron Bridge

The Iron Bridge : Short Stories of 20th Century Dictators as Teenagers

3.35 (48 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 6 business days
When will my order arrive?


"The Iron Bridge" delivers an inspired inquiry into the early lives of the 20th century's most notorious tyrants. Anton Piatigorsky pushes at the boundaries of the unexpected as he breathes fictionalized life into the adolescents who would grow up to become the most brutal dictators the world has ever known. We discover a teenaged Mao Tse-Tung refusing an arranged marriage; Idi Amin cooking for the British Army; Stalin living in a seminary; and a melodramatic young Adolf Hitler dreaming of vast architectural achievements. Pol Pot and Rafael Trujillo are also subjects of separate stories. Piatigorsky explores moments that are nothing more than vague incidents in the biographies of these men, expanding mere footnotes into entire realities. "The Iron Bridge," completely imagined yet captivatingly real, captures those crucial instants in time that may well have helped to deliver some of the most infamous leaders in more

Product details

  • Paperback | 267 pages
  • 139.7 x 205.74 x 20.32mm | 272.15g
  • Steerforth Press
  • English
  • 1586422189
  • 9781586422189
  • 2,434,624

Review quote

Runner-up: The Danuta Gleed Literary Award for Short Fiction "To fictionalize and dramatize scenes from the early lives of history's most infamous tyrants and practitioners of genocide is a unique and boldly challenging premise, and Piatigorsky succeeds against all odds. These complex and fascinating portraits illuminate while offering no excuses, no justification for crimes later committed. That these monsters-to-be are given such convincing humanity is a testament to Piatigorsky's delicate craft, his patience and subtle creativity with the historical material at hand, and insight into the darkest possibilities of the human mind." -- Danuta Gleed Literary Award Runner-Up Citation "Through smart dialogue and revealing internal monologue, (Piatigorsky) brings to life the teenage years of Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin, and Idi Amin, among others. . . . Piatigorsky's experience as a playwright comes through in quick and entertaining dialogue that feels true to the varied time periods and sustains momentum through each long story. When the young Adi Hitler defensively says, 'It is a terrible mistake to judge an artist by the same standard as one would judge an artisan, ' the comment is not just true to history, but revealing of a historical monster's human side." "-- Publishers Weekly " "The dictators, whose youth is the subject of this remarkable collection of short stories, were responsible for millions of deaths. But 'the child is father of the man, ' and we know precious little psychobiographically about the forces that shaped and impelled them on their murderous course. I am bedazzled by the creative imagination of the author whose compelling portraits convincingly and vividly fill in the relative void in the backgrounds of these authors of dark chapters in 20th century history." -- Jerrold Post, Director of the Political Psychology program, the George Washington University, author of "Leaders and their Followers in a Dangerous World " "show more

About Anton Piatigorsky

Anton Piatigorsky is a native of Washington, DC and now lives in Toronto. He has twice won the Dora Mavor Moore Award. "Eternal Hydra," commissioned by the Stratford Festival, was called "one of the best Canadian plays of the past decade" by "NOW" magazine. The chamber opera, "Airline Icarus," for which he wrote the libretto, won the Italian Primo Fedora Award in 2011. His most recent play, "Breath In Between," debuted in August, 2012. The author lives in more

Rating details

48 ratings
3.35 out of 5 stars
5 10% (5)
4 31% (15)
3 46% (22)
2 8% (4)
1 4% (2)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X