Man Utd boss Ferguson studying world's worst dictators

Fergie strode through the terminal with the book 'Lenin, Stalin and Hitler - The Age of Social Catastrophe'. Written by Robert Gellately, the American author and Professor of History at Florida State University, the publishers say that the 720-page tome shows how the "pursuit of utopian - and dreadfully flawed - ideals led only to dystopian nightmare".

Gellately admits he's a Chelsea fan and told The Times last night that Ferguson could take guidance from how the 20th-century dictators achieved their heinous goals.

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"The book focuses on their leadership and their ideas," he said. "It's based on the leaders and how they got things done and the horrible things they were aiming for. We all want Manchester United to win, although perhaps not by the means that those people used."

The academic said Ferguson should aim to be more like Hitler than his Russian dictatorial counterparts if he wanted to inspire his players.

"Hitler we always think of as a dictator casting lightning bolts down from on high, but he was a man who didn't like making decisions, who wanted others to make them," Gellately said. "He wanted to be a man of the people, to be loved, the opposite of Lenin and Stalin, who thought the views of the public could go to hell.

"Even when the Russians were raising their flag over the Reichstag there were Germans in the basement of the building who held out for days. If you give people a really strong idea to fight for and they can identify with this, they will fight for it to the bitter end."

Gellately said that he was backing the Scot to lead United to the final.

"If Ferguson can awaken in his troops that psychological commitment that they will win at all costs, then he should be able to guide them through," he said.

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