JOUVENEL, BERTRAND DE. ON POWER: Its Origin and the History of Its Use. 1950s?. How power was organized and why some social arrangements became dominant. Try also to borrow and copy THE ART OF CONJECTURE, a history of plannin for the future, from the Marquis de Condorcet onwards.
KAMEN, HENRY. THE SPANISH INQUISITION. These days, the inquisitors have doctors standing by to make sure the, er, "elient" doesn't die right away.
LUTTWAK, EDWARD N. COUP D'ETAT How-to manual for destabilizing small countries. A bit dated, but supposed to work better than the CIA's 1980s Nicaraguan comic book.
MACHIAVELLI, NICCOLO. THE PRINCE. You don't have to be a good person as long as you can look good and deliver the goods. Machiavelli was a paid flack for Lorenzo de' Medici. "Some people call it ass-kissing, but I call it politics."
MACKENZIE, NORMAN ed. SECRET SOCIETIES. Look for the things they have in common. Learn from them. Just don't get too paranoid.
MUSASHI, MIYAMOTO. THE BOOK OF FIVE RINGS. Japanese book of strategy and discipline. Good companion piece to SUN TZU's THE ART OF WAR.
ORWELL, GEORGE. HOMAGE TO CATALONIA. Account of his days in the socialist militia in the Spanish Civil War. Shows how a resistance movement can piss away its victories, while the assholes in the movement get all the guns and money.
RIORDON, WILLIAM L. PLUNKITT OF TAMMANY HALL. Benign politician of New York's Tammany Hall. Contrast with bosses Tweed and Croker.
ROYKO, MIKE. BOSS: RICHARD J. DALEY OF CHICAGO. All the really colorful stuff about machine politics you read in high school. You know, getting out the graveyard vote and stuff like that. (Nov. 2000: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!)
SUN TZU. THE ART OF WAR. 2500 year-old book of military (now business) strategy. As endorsed by Gordon Gekko in "Wall Street." (Nov. 2000: And still read by every asshole trying to whip the workers into making him (usually him) a fast buck.
VIRILIO, PAUL SPEED AND POLITICS. SEMIOTEXT(E) BOOKS. Power is the ability to mobilize. I think he stole his ideas from de Jouvenel. (Nov. 2000. Soon I'll either try to prove this or shut up.)
WILGUS, NEAL. THE ILLUMINOIDS. Traces the Illuminati and related groups through the ages and through the histories of conspiracy buffs. Out of print, I think. (Nov. 2000: In the Masonic museum in Alexandria, Virginia, a couple of years ago, I saw a first edition (1798) of "Proofs of a Conspiracy," by the Rev. Jedediah Morse. It explains that the U.S. government is a Masonic plot. No, really? Yeah, and Krakatoa isn't east of Java, either. Sure.)