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Audiobook Downloadable / ISBN-13: 9781529338126

Price: £21.99

ON SALE: 9th November 2021

Genre: Economics, Finance, Business & Management

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Does power corrupt, or are corrupt people drawn to power? Are entrepreneurs who embezzle and cops who kill the outgrowths of bad systems or are they just bad people? Are tyrants made or born? If you were thrust into a position of power, would new temptations to line your pockets or torture your enemies gnaw away at you until you gave in?

To answer these questions, Corruptible draws on over 500 interviews with some of the world’s noblest and dirtiest leaders, from presidents and philanthropists to rebels, cultists, and dictators. It also makes use of a wealth of counter-intuitive examples from history and social science: You’ll meet the worst bioterrorist in American history, hit the slopes with a ski instructor who once ruled Iraq, have breakfast with the yogurt kingpin of Madagascar, learn what bees and wasps can teach us about corruption, find out why our Stone Age brains cause us to choose bad leaders, and learn why the inability of chimpanzees to play baseball is central to the development of human hierarchies.

Corruptible will make you challenge basic assumptions about how you can rise to become a leader and what might happen to your head when you get there. It also provides a roadmap to avoiding classic temptations, suggesting a series of reforms that would ensure that better people get into power, while ensuring that power purifies rather than corrupts.

‘ILLUMINATING’ – Adam Grant, bestselling author of Think Again

‘PASSIONATE, INSIGHTFUL, AND OCCASIONLLY JAW-DROPPING’ – Peter Frankopan, bestselling author of The Silk Roads

(P) 2021 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

What's Inside

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A brilliant exploration . . . This book builds Brian Klaas' reputation, offering an essential guide through our world of democratic decay, corruption, and cronyism
Dan Snow
A fascinating, fun read . . . Klaas has striking insights, presents impeccable science accessibly, and tells terrific stories-all with great writing and wonderfully mordant humor
Robert Sapolsky, author of Behave
An extraordinary interrogation of the workings of power . . . A critical book for these troubling times. A must read!
Eddie S. Glaude Jr., author of Begin Again
Engrossing, thought-provoking, and funny . . . An important exploration of how ordinary people can keep leadership out of the hands of monsters
Heather Cox Richardson, author of How the South Won the Civil War
The Freakonomics of political science
Max Boot, Washington Post columnist
Peter Turchin, author of Ultrasociety
Rich insights and fascinating observations . . . [Shines] a light on recent efforts to ensure that the corrupt don't get power, and the incorruptible do
Richard Stengel
A GPS system for navigating a world increasingly full of illiberal democracies, modernised dictatorships, and populists who care only for power . . . The power-hungry don't ask why, they only ask why not
Garry Kasparov, Chairman of the Renew Democracy Initiative and the Human Rights Foundation
Surrounded by people, companies and organisations that abuse their power, we've never needed Brian Klaas's penetrating study more. He has amassed a rich collection of evidence to offer some hope that we can pick better leaders and hold them to account
Polly Toynbee
Klaas is the rarest of finds: a political scientist who can also tell great stories. He mixes memorable anecdotes with stern analysis to tackle one of the biggest questions of all: do we have to be ruled by bad people?
Peter Pomerantsev
Passionate, insightful, and occasionally jaw-dropping . . . Corruptible sets out the story of the intoxicating lure of power - and how it has shaped the modern world
Peter Frankopan
Illuminating . . . reveals why some people and systems are more likely to be corrupted by power than others
Adam Grant
Powerful, authoritative, humane and utterly compelling. This is a book of big ideas, written with nuance and dynamism. When you turn the last page, you realise that you'll never look at the world quite the same way again
Ian Dunt
Fun and entertaining . . . With a deft literary hand, Klaas describes how positions that offer power and possibilities for enrichment feature incentives that attract the wrong sort of people
Washington Post
A compelling enquiry into power, its abuse, and why the wrong people wield it, by a learned and invigorating storyteller
Nigella Lawson
UNEXPECTED INSIGHTS . . . presented in a digestible and accessible way...Maybe the most important lesson of Corruptible is that when psychopaths inadvertently reveal their true selves, the institutions that they plague must take action that is swift, brutal and merciless
Business Insider
Absorbing, provocative, far-reaching . . . Essential for interpreting history and world events-both the province of tyrants-alike
Kirkus Reviews
ENRICHED BY COLORFUL CASE STUDIES AND LUCID EXPLANATIONS . . . a nuanced and entertaining guide to the meaning and function of power
Publishers Weekly
A NEW, INSIGHTFUL, AND SEDITIOUS ROADMAP TO THE PRIMAL URGE TO DOMINATE . . . Dangerous as a drug addition, power changes both those who have it and those who just want a quick fix
Richard Engel, Chief Foreign Correspondent of NBC News
Klaas is an entertaining guide who has read widely across different fields and is able to connect his findings insightfully and judiciously . . . From parliaments to executive suites, the world could benefit from innovative systems designed in the way that Brian Klaas lays out with clarity and passion
Charles King, The TLS