The Dictator’s Handbook

Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics
Bruce Bueno de Mesquita & Alastair Smith

I am sceptical of the tenor of this book; in opening passages it adopts the stance of conspiracy theory. It improves somewhat later.

L 219: I am glad to hear more details of the Bell California saga than I had heard. Some useful facts seep thru the florid verbiage.

L 361: The authors have here explained their perspective of personal goals instead of national goals. I think I can adopt that perspective. I presume that they will explain the semi success of traditional explanations. Using his new theory, Einstein was able to explain why Newton was nearly right. The shift is more like the fuss over evolution’s unit of selection, group, organism or gene.


I am tiring of the book. The perspective does not lead me to better understand what happens. This is in part because I am unfamiliar with most of the anecdotes with they illustrate their perspective.