’Illuminating . . . reveals why some people and systems are more likely to be corrupted by power than others’ – Adam Grant
’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
’A brilliant exploration’ – Dan Snow
’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
Does power corrupt or are corrupt people drawn to power?
Are tyrants the products of bad systems or are they just bad people?
And why do we give power to awful people?
In Corruptible, professor of global politics Brian Klaas draws on over 500 interviews with some of the world’s top leaders – from the noblest to the dirtiest – including presidents, war criminals, cult leaders, terrorists, psychopaths, and dictators to reveal the most surprising workings of power: how children can predict who is going to win an election based just on the faces of politicians; why narcissists make more money; what makes a certain species of bee more corrupt than others; whether a thirst for power is a genetic condition; and why being the second in command is in fact the smartest choice.
From scans of psychopathic brains, to the effects of power on monkey drug use, Klaas weaves cutting-edge research with astonishing encounters (including a ski lesson with the former viceroy of Iraq, tea with a former UK prime minister, and breakfast with Madagascar’s yogurt kingpin president). Written by the creator of the award-winning Power Corrupts podcast, Corruptible challenges our basic assumptions about power, from the board room to the war room, and provides a roadmap for getting better leaders at every level.