Does power corrupt, or are corrupt people drawn to power? Are entrepreneurs who embezzle and cops who kill the result of poorly designed systems or are they just bad people? Are tyrants made or born? If you were suddenly thrust into a position of power, would you be able to resist the temptation to line your pockets or seek revenge against your enemies? To answer these questions, Corruptible draws on over 500 interviews with some of the world's top leaders—from the noblest to the dirtiest—including presidents and philanthropists as well as rebels, cultists, and dictators.
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 ... His warnings would be more disturbing were they not delivered with such verve. Being so entertained, we can lose sight of the fact that police agencies whose recruitment ads feature military tanks and violent SWAT teams, and presidential roles with low oversight and heady possibilities for procurement contracts for family members, are going to pull the expected kinds of people into the recruitment pool ... Klaas...fails to bring his deep understanding of global politics to bear on the really tough problems. His stories offer ample tactical tweaks, such as improving recruitment to make jobs more attractive to better people, or rotating leadership posts and using randomized integrity tests focused on those at the top to catch those who can do the most harm ... His ideas are pitched at a level suited to business boardrooms. But for anyone seeking political improvements, Klaas sidesteps the hard questions ... Klaas’s failure to take on these tougher points provides little guidance on how to accomplish change. But his love for a rollicking tale yields a fun and entertaining book.