What do the South Vietnamese government, the Shah and Ferdinand Marcos have in common? All were allied to the United States; all defied democratic and liberal norms; and all three fell in a blaze, creating problems for the United States. In each case the problem arose in large part because Washington pursued security interests, while the public reacted against humanitarian abuses; and the contradiction led to disaster. These three cases - and another eighteen more - are the subject of "Friendly Tyrants", the first study to survey the problem of U.S. government relations with pro-American authoritarian rulers. Working over a three-year period, a group of specialists and government officials draw conclusions that offer guidelines to help understand the problem and to make policy for the future.