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Summary

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 more than 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 road map 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.

©2021 Brian Klaas (P)2021 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

Critic reviews

"Illuminating." (Adam Grant, best-selling author of Think Again)

"Passionate, insightful, and occasionally jaw-dropping." (Peter Frankopan, best-selling author of The Silk Roads)

What listeners say about Corruptible

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  • MJ
  • 26-07-22

I have two lists!

One is a list of all the Leaderists who really should read this, but absolutely never will.

The other is a list of all the good people who don't need to read this, but will anyway.

I need to give the second list a copy of the first list, to illustrate what this book is about.

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Incredible

This is a fantastic insight into why people behave like they do when in power and when trying to get power. Really interesting hearing about all the studies and how it relates to society and how the world could be helped by the evidence if implemented. Who is willing to implement the ideas to help mankind though that is the questions?

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From the creator of the podcast Power Corrupts

Love his podcast but while it highlights many problems in the world it rarely offers any solutions. So it’s great that this book not only explores the causes of corruption in detail but suggests some solutions!

Strongly recommend.

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Brilliant, the same as Brian Klaas’ podcast!

Been a big fan of Dr Brian Klaas’ podcast Power Corrupts for a year or so, which led me to this book. Really interesting theme throughout.

Highly recommend this as well as anything else Brian creates!

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Eccellent

This book has been very interesting and very well received. Lots of very interesting stories and everything made perfect sense. Very encouraging to know that there are things that can be done to safeguard against corruption. Highly recommended for anyone who is interested in how the world works

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Corruption can be dealt with!

A really good book about levels of corruption and novel ways to deal with it.

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Outstanding

If you only listen to one book this year make it this one!
Not just about despots and dictators but a thoughtful and intelligent look into power and how it affects us on all levels - and most importantly- what we can do about it!

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Brilliant.

I first heard about this book on LBC's James O'Brien show, and as a political nerd, my interest was instantly peaked. I am thankful that intrigue was duly rewarded with a riveting and engrossing read that gave a look into the psychology, sociology economics, and anthropological history of human behaviour and how it has moulded the modern world we have now.

Despite being published in Nov 2021, this book might be a low-key book of 2022. it is highly deserving of high praise, and I shall be recommending it to my book reading family, friends, and political associations.

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A great read to our times

Excellent, well-informed, and well illustrated dissection of the causes and effects of inappropriate leaders, whether governmental or corporate.

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Absolutely fascinating!

This provides a brilliant, in depth but yet very easy to understand review of power and corruption.