Book in categories:

The Dictator's Handbook

Books recommended with this one:

Comments and mentions from HN threads:

Ask HN: What books fundamentally changed the way you think about the world?

xemoka: An interesting flip on politics, it made me stop worrying so much about the here-and-now of it, and quelled my anger with the (further?) realisation that it is a game. If we want to fix what's happening we need to fix the rules, not the players.

mcintyre1994: A fascinating take on how and why governments with varying levels of democracy behave the way that they do.

Ask HN: What books have made the biggest impact on your mental models?

travmatt: He explores how rulers looking to maintain power are all driven by similar incentives, and similarly provided a clear framework for analyzing political or business strategy.

Ask HN: Any recommended books on developing mental models?

travmatt: ...will give you a great basis for understanding political motivations.

Ask HN: Books you read in 2018?

mosiuerbarso: Very interesting theories on power structures.

Ask HN: Favorite nonfiction books of 2018?

theothermkn: Everyone should read it. You think you know politics, but you haven't even begun until you've read this book.

Ask HN: What books changed the way you think about almost everything?

nindalf: ...leaders do what is necessary to stay in power. Using that idea they explain the basis of all political systems, whether autocracy or democracy or somewhere in between. I didn’t really understand politics before I read this...

motohagiography: a popular take on their academic work that describes a metamodel for reasoning about power and politics that bypasses how things "may" or "should" work and talks about how they "must" work.

reubenswartz: This is a great book. Unfortunately, I feel like a lot of people who live in a nominal democracy see the title and think, "this doesn't apply to me." Even more unfortunately, it very much does apply to you, in, for example, the United States.

Nevermark: It lays out the inevitable power dynamics behind any political system, democratic, autocratic or corporate. The rules for the players are the same, despite different terrain. If anyone thinks politics can ever really be about policy (for politicians) here is the cure. What has to be done to get power, hold on to it, and why, regardless of motives or competence.

credit_guy: ...It changed the way I look at politics in the world. In particular it completely changed the way I perceive a so called "Revolution" that happened in my country when I was a teenager (in 1989, the fell of communism). ...

Mentions by: bgroat