Return to media reviews

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

Dictators will do anything to stay in power, nearly regardless of other factors. If they don't, and another potential dictator could take over, they will, and then will do everything they can to stay in power. Thus, fragile nations end up with dictators, who execute a playbook to stay in power. This book walks you through this playbook, with enough details and examples to be quite convincing. It's an interesting geopolitics book that addresses leadership dynamics, but felt a bit dark to me.


These are entirely subjective, and roughly try to capture my personal enjoyment and usefulness, and how likely I'd recommend it to others. Don't read too much into this unless you love my judgement. Rough guidelines:

A: Top quartile. Changed the way I think about something.

B: Worthwhile. I took away something useful.

C: Didn't hit, wouldn't directly recommend. Likely won't revisit.

Stay connected

I send out occasional updates on posts, interesting finds, and projects I'm working on. I'd love to include you. No tracking, one-click unsubscribe.