Media and Reviews

Chosen as number 60 in Foreign Policy Magazine‘s 100 Top Global Thinkers for 2009, with a nice reference to The Predictioneer’s Game. See p. 29 of the list in Foreign Policy Magazine

“fascinating . .. it’s a rollicking book—a somewhat more technical and thesis-driven cousin to Freakonomics . . . . All of these stories are fascinating.  Every chapter in Bueno de Mesquita’s book contains something insightful about human behavior. . . . genuinely absorbing” Nicholas Thompson, The New York Times Book Review Section

Bruce Bueno de Mesquita’s “The Predictioneer’s Game’’ . . . is full of stimulating examples and clear explanations. . . . He has challenged one of my cherished beliefs. I am a moralist, and he suggests, with distressing plausibility, that moralists are superfluous. . . .

Bruce Bueno de Mesquita’s “The Predictioneer’s Game’’ is a profoundly irritating book. This, I hasten to say, has nothing to do with the book’s quality. It is full of stimulating examples and clear explanations. Nor is it the author’s personality: Bueno de Mesquita is genial and – even though most of the book’s case studies tell of the triumphs of his consulting company – not at all self-important. But he has done, by my lights, the unforgivable: He has challenged one of my cherished beliefs. I am a moralist, and he suggests, with distressing plausibility, that moralists are superfluous. The Boston Globe

“a fascinating new book”  Times of London

Political scientist and occasional CIA consultant [Bueno de] Mesquita assumes that, whatever the local topography and culture, people have mainly the same (selfish if not paranoid) reasons and motivations the world over. . . . The stories he tells about these are interesting and snappily told . . . Mesquita offers zingily provocative contemporary policy ideas, such as making Israel and Palestine share one another’s tourist revenue (since violence deters tourism), or doubling “foreign aid” to Kim Jong-Il so he mothballs his nuclear programme – in essence, bribing him into feeling secure.” Steven Poole, The Guardian

“demystifies game theory . . . makes for enlightening . . . reading. “The Predictioneer’s Game” is kind of like Machiavelli’s “The Courtier” for a millennial generation.” Smart Money Magazine

“Shakespeare said that poetry was giving “to airy nothingness a local habitation and a name.”  Game theory has never been airy nothingness, but to those who through lack of exposure or (like me) the wrong kind of exposure years ago may have had such thoughts, Bruce Bueno de Mesquita follows Shakespeare’s path and opens a new world.  In de Mesquita’s hands game theory becomes a fascinating tool for understanding everything from how to steer the selection of a CEO to great swaths of both the past and future.  Don’t miss this one if you care about understanding how decisions are made — pretty much all decisions.” R. James Woolsey, Director of Central Intelligence, 1993-1995

“Organized thought applied to problems can illuminate and help solve them.  This easy and enjoyable read is, in many ways, a how-to book for that very purpose.” George Shultz, Secretary of State, 1982-1989

“Bruce Bueno de Mesquita has demonstrated the power of using game theory and related assumptions of rational and self-seeking behavior in predicting the outcome of important political and legal processes. No one will fail to appreciate and learn from this well-written and always interesting account of his procedures.” Kenneth Arrow, 1972 Nobel Laureate in Economics

“This book teaches us that we can predict how a conflict may be resolved if we carefully consider the incentives for all parties in the conflict.  In an extraordinary range of applications, from ancient history to tomorrow’s headlines, Bruce Bueno de Mesquita demonstrates the power of the game-theoretic approach.” Roger Myerson, 2007 Nobel Laureate in Economics

“I am impressed by how well you have managed to combine game-theoretic computable modeling and expert judgments to yield quantitative predictions.” Avinash Dixit, John J. F. Sherrerd ’52 University Professor of Economics, Princeton University and co-author with Barry Nalebuff of The Art of Strategy

“After just one experience using your model, I have to say that I think you have put together a truly amazing tool.” Hersh Shefrin, Mario L. Belotti Professor of Finance, Santa Clara University Leavey School of business and author of Beyond Greed and Fear: Understanding Behavioral Finance and the Psychology of Investing

“Predictioneer’s Game should be required reading for the entire human race. Bruce has found a simple way to communicate a complex theory that can only lead to enlightenment and wisdom as to how innocently things can go terribly wrong. Without such knowledge we can spend a lifetime failing to self-actualize our potential simply because we didn’t understand the rules of the game. This book provides the fundametal elements of the “missing” piece to the puzzle that could potentially stop the dysfunction the often leads to destruction from fraud or worse yet war simply because we did not understand the whole truth – we are motivated by self-interest which we often disguise as public good.  I cannot give this book enough praise – it will change your life.” Lynn Brewer, author of Confessions of an Enron Executive; A Whistleblower’s Story and Managing Risks for Corporate Integrity

“Bueno de Mesquita has successfully turned the art of decision-making into a science – and enriched our understanding of politics and business in the process. Dispensing with clichés about rationality and irrationality, he explains how to predict behavior based on the relevant players’ interests and contexts. Bueno de Mesquita says he does not have a crystal ball, but this book gives readers the ingredients to build their own.” Parag Khanna, author of The Second World: How Emerging Powers are Redefining Global Competition in the 21st Century

For a profile of Bruce in the Sunday New York Times Magazine Section, August 16, 2009, click here
Want to read about a journalist’s test of my car buying recommendation. Click here.