We all know that most celebrities aren't quite what they made out to be. Whether it's TV chefs spitting out racial slurs or actors trying to be world record drug-takers, it's not really a surprise when they misbehave. After all, they are only human. However, there are some people who have such a saint-like reputation that it is almost unbelievable for them to be anything other than good. But even the best of humanity can be the worst of humanity.
Roald Dahl is one of the most popular and best selling British authors of all time, writing many classic children's books such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Matilda. However, though he brought joy to many children with his books, he did not start out writing stories for kids. His early works include stories involving seven-foot penises, and even in the children's books, there are themes of violence and horror.
While these tales may be surprising, they are not in any way a sign of a hidden evil. For that, Dahl's political views should be looked at. When he was younger, Dahl held the not-uncommon-at-the-time view that Africans should be exploited for wealth. Dahl was also opposed to the creation of Israel and thought that Jews asked for what they got, claiming "There's a trait in the Jewish character that does provoke animosity … even a stinker like Hitler didn't just pick on them for no reason."
General Patton was a great military leader, who won several major victories against the Axis forces. Victories come at a cost though, and there are claims that Patton ordered the killing of captive Germans and Italians.
But while those killings may be a result of the chaos of war, his treatment of his own soldiers was not. During the Campaign in Sicily, Patton visited a soldier suffering from shell shock, and his response was to slap him twice. In defense of Patton, some say PTSD was not yet recognized and in a war situation, a general has to be tough to keep order. However, that does not excuse cruel treatment of the men he had a duty to protect. Patton also had little respect for the citizens he was fighting for. During the Bonus Marches, Patton said the deaths of a large number of First World War veterans would be "an object lesson." The America he fought for was a pure Nordic (read Aryan) America without any disrupting Jews and blacks.
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the USA, and is seen by many as one of the best to ever hold the office. Preserving the Union and freeing the slaves earned Lincoln his place in history, though emancipation was little more than a political trick. Lincoln even admitted as much, saying "If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it." To him, freeing slaves would not only cause problems in the South, it would provide extra troops for the North and improve relations with Europe so as to keep the British and French out of the war.
The fact that Lincoln was not intent on freeing slaves is shown when only slaves in the South were freed, yet those in the North remained in chains. Lincoln also did not intend on making ex-slaves equal citizens, saying there was "no (reason) … to introduce equality between the white and black races." Lincoln did not stop with mere tricks to preserve the Union. He was willing to turn the Union into a dictatorship by revoking the Writ of Habeas Corpus, allowing him to imprison anyone deemed an enemy of the state, and hold them indefinitely, without trial.
Winston Churchill is often viewed as the best UK Prime Minister in history, and his legacy is well deserved. Many credit Churchill's strong leadership for Britain's continued resistance to Germany, which may have stopped them from winning World War II. However, Churchill would defeat the Nazis at any cost, and we mean any. After the British evacuation at Dunkirk, Churchill was worried that the French Fleet would fall into German hands. A joint French-German Fleet would be a serious threat to the Royal Navy, and Churchill thought the risk should be dealt with.
With that aim, he ordered the attack at Mers-el Kebir in North Africa. Over 1200 Frenchmen were killed, and the attack caused distrust between the two nations. The French troops that fought the Americans in North Africa were likely influenced by Mers-el-Kebir to fight the Allies. Churchill was also the main advocate for an attack on the Soviet Union. This new war would have killed more people than the war in Europe, but was worth it to Churchill to stop what he saw as a worse regime than Hitler's.
Nelson Mandela was like the granddad of world politics. His forgiveness of Apartheid leaders and his overall peaceful outlook on life, gave the impression of a wise and caring leader. But back in the day, Mandela was the leader of the terrorist group Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation,) which was responsible for many innocent deaths. To add to that came the waves of violence committed by the black populace, which is still going on today. In fact, Mandela's group was so bad, he was even refused a defense by Amnesty International before he went to Robben Island.