Synopses & Reviews
For eighteen years, Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith have been 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.
In this clever and accessible book, authors Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith make the following claim: Leaders do whatever keeps them in power.
About the Author
Bruce Bueno de Mesquita is the Julius Silver Professor of Politics and director of the Alexander Hamilton Center for Political Economy at New York University, as well as a Senior Fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. He is also a partner in Mesquita and Roundell, a New York-based consulting firm that uses game theory models to assist corporations and the U.S. intelligence and policymaking community in complex negotiations. He 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. Bruce received his doctorate in political science from the University of Michigan in 1971 and a doctorate from the University of Groningen in 1999. A former Guggenheim Fellow, he is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Council on Foreign Relations, the 2007 recipient of South Korea's DMZ Peace Prize, and the recipient of many other academic honors for his teaching and research. Bruce lives with his wife, Arlene, in San Francisco and New York. Alastair Smith is Professor of Politics at New York University. The recipient of three grants from the National Science Foundation, he was chosen as the 2005 Karl Deutsch Award winner, given biennially to the best international relations scholar under the age of 40. He is the author of Election Timing and coauthor of Punishing the Prince and The Logic of Political Survival, and his work has appeared frequently in academic journals and other publications. Johnny Heller has won two prestigious Audie Awards and has earned numerous Audie nominations. He has been praised for his adult, personal development, history, comedy, and children's book narrations. Named a Best Voice of 2008 and 2009, as well as one of the Top 50 Narrators of the Twentieth Century by AudioFile magazine, Johnny has earned almost twenty Golden Earphones Awards. Two of Johnny's audiobooks have been picked by AudioFile as Best Audiobook the Year, and he has won two Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Awards.