Our cynical, but we believe accurate, view of politics examines how leaders come to power, stay in power, and rule for their benefit rather than that for the people. No leader rules alone. Everyone needs essential supporters to implement policy, collect taxes and keep the people under control.
Whether we consider dictators, democrats or corporate bosses, political success requires that leaders must always take care of their coalition of supporters first and foremost. In such diverse settings as public policy, tax collection, corruption, revolution, foreign aid, and fighting wars, the handbook shows that the good of the people is always a secondary concern, at best. However, the book contains a hopeful message. By understanding politics through the lens of what is best for the leader, we can constraint leader rapacity.