Thursday, 7 July 2016


Public Affairs, New York, 2012

Quoting from the Introduction:

          "The Big questions of how the world ought to behave are indeed important. But they are not our focus. Questions of philosophical values and metaphorical abstractions -- these simply don't apply to the view of politics that we'll present in the pages ahead.... 

          "But then we believe that the world can only be improved if first we understand how it works and why. Working out what makes people do what they do in the realm of politics is fundamental to working out how to make it in their interest to do better things.

          The modern vernacular of politics and international relations, from balances of power and hegemony to partisanship and national interest, is the stuff of high school civics and nightly news punditry. It has little to do with real politics. And so, you may be lighted -- or disappointed -- to hear that this particular book of politics is not concerned with any of this. Our account of politics is primarily about what is, and why what is, is."

Coming in my reading list hard on the heels of Bruce Bueno de Mesquita's PREDICTIONEER  [cf. ]  I am confident in saying that anyone else reading this combined Bruce Buena de Mesquita & Alastair Smith DICTATOR'S HANDBOOK -- preferably also with the PREDICTIONEER  -- will come away with considerable layers of scales removed from one's mental eyes and seeing "...what is, and why what is, is."

ADDENDUM  4 OCT 2016, their 'Spoils of War' has duly arrived....

...another Trove needing no further advice to read from me if you've come that far anyway!

1 comment:

  1. Having written 'many thanks for the clarification of 'what is, is', I received this reply from Bruce de Mesquita:

    Thank you. Now if I may be shameless, you might have a look at Alastair and my new book, The Spoils of War, which will be published by Public Affairs Press in September. We apply our reasoning specifically to America's greatest presidents (Washington, Madison, Lincoln, FDR, etc.) to demonstrate how their interests, rather than ours, drove their war policies.

    I can only recommend to read both LACUNA books before the arrival of that new book by Bruce & Alastair in September !