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The Dictator's Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics
     

The Dictator's Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics

4.7 9
by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, Alastair Smith
 

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For eighteen years, Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith have been part of a team revolutionizing the study of politics by turning conventional wisdom on its head. They start from a single assertion: Leaders do whatever keeps them in power. They don't care about the “national interest”—or even their subjects—unless they have to.

Overview


For eighteen years, Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith have been part of a team revolutionizing the study of politics by turning conventional wisdom on its head. They start from a single assertion: Leaders do whatever keeps them in power. They don't care about the “national interest”—or even their subjects—unless they have to.

This clever and accessible book shows that the difference between tyrants and democrats is just a convenient fiction. Governments do not differ in kind but only in the number of essential supporters, or backs that need scratching. The size of this group determines almost everything about politics: what leaders can get away with, and the quality of life or misery under them. The picture the authors paint is not pretty. But it just may be the truth, which is a good starting point for anyone seeking to improve human governance.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Machiavelli's The Prince has a new rival. . . . This is a fantastically thought-provoking read. I found myself not wanting to agree but actually, for the most part, being convinced that the cynical analysis is the true one." ---Enlightenment Economics

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781610391849
Publisher:
PublicAffairs
Publication date:
07/31/2012
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
9,119
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.00(d)

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
"Machiavelli's The Prince has a new rival. . . . This is a fantastically thought-provoking read. I found myself not wanting to agree but actually, for the most part, being convinced that the cynical analysis is the true one." —-Enlightenment Economics

Meet the Author

Bruce Bueno de Mesquita is the author of several books, including The Predictioneer's Game; Principles of International Politics; Predicting Politics; Strategy, Risk and Personality in Coalition Politics; and the coauthor of many others.

Alastair Smith is the author of Election Timing and coauthor of Punishing the Prince and The Logic of Political Survival.

Johnny Heller has earned multiple Earphones Awards from AudioFile magazine, including one for Closing Time by Joe Queenan, and has earned two Audie Awards and many more nominations. Named one of the Top Fifty Narrators of the Twentieth Century by AudioFile, he has recorded over five hundred titles.

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Dictator's Handbook 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Frruss More than 1 year ago
This is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand real politics and power...
Serhiy_Kudelia More than 1 year ago
This book goes into a head of a dictator and offers an elegant consistent analytical framework to understand the reasoning of any dictator. In fact, many of its examples come from the corporate world since corporations are often built according to the similar principles. You can apply this framework to analyze any authoritarian regimes in the world - both the ones recently established in the post-Soviet space and the ones existing for decades in Africa or the Middle East. As the authors demonstrate through numerous historical examples, they all rely on the same set of institutions to sustain themselves. This book will allow you to predict which dictators may be successful in maintaining their hold on power for long, and which ones are bound to fall soon. It also points to particular moments of vulnerability of any dictatorship and, therefore, may serve not only as a guide for an aspiring dictator, but also to the ones plotting to bring existing dictators down. Highly recommended to anyone interested in the policies of authoritarian regimes or hierarchically built organizations.
ChronicD More than 1 year ago
Put on your new glasses and prepare to view the world of politics from an island of practicality. Look around, the presidential campaign, Libya , banks . What will become of Libya ? The trail may follow the money from oil. Our country ? Why do income distributions look like Nigeria ? The banks ? Whay are people in charge of the country's finances always from Goldman Sachs ? Foreign aid ? Huh ? Why are we hated when we give them money ? Read this book . Whether you are a Republican or a Democrat, you won't regret it.
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