One of the “Little Stalins” installed to power in the wake of the Red Army’s march toward Germany during the closing months of World War II, Mátyás Rákosi certainly shared his sponsor’s brutality. Crude in his behavior, a trait he nurtured as a badge of his lower-class status, Rákosi helped fashion Hungary’s Socialist catastrophe. Employing identity politics and “salami tactics” Rákosi slowly sliced away all those opposed to collectivism. Fear, intimidation, and death were considered necessary tools in his effort to build a classless society. From his rise to leadership in 1945 to his forced exile in 1956 hundreds of thousands of Hungarians were either imprisoned or executed.
Many of America’s second generation of political/ military leaders experienced the American Revolution as children. Some incubated in the new nation’s political environment through their connection to family members who served as leaders during the Revolutionary period, the Confederation era, or during the early days of the Republic. Such was the case for Robert Barraud Taylor, of Norfolk, Virginia. Taylor’s services to his nation include stints as a military commander, a jurist, and as a politician. He was accomplished at each.