Leadership, Popular Culture and Social Change
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Leadership, Popular Culture and Social Change

Edited by Kristin M.S. Bezio and Kimberly Yost

The newest generation of leaders was raised on a steady diet of popular culture artifacts mediated through technology, such as film, television and online gaming. As technology expands access to cultural production, popular culture continues to play an important role as an egalitarian vehicle for promoting ideological dissent and social change. The chapters in this book examine works and creators of popular culture – from literature to film and music to digital culture – in order to address the ways in which popular culture shapes and is shaped by leaders around the globe as they strive to change their social systems for the better.
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Chapter 3: Totalizing tyranny: Mario Vargas Llosa’s The Feast of the Goat

Mark A. Menaldo


This chapter focuses on the moral and psychological consequences of destructive leadership through a literary examination of Peruvian Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa’s epic political thriller, The Feast of the Goat (2000). Vargas Llosa uses realism to bring to life the complex psychological portrait of the Caribbean despot Rafael Leonidas Trujillo. Trujillo, who fits the stereotypical Latin American leader, embraces machismo as the source of his political power, and, as a result, his character shows no consideration for ethical and political principles. Trujillo’s will to power enervates the wills of his followers and denies the entire country its freedom, resulting in the destruction of the community’s moral imagination.

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