This is a great book! As a political-science graduate student I've been exposed to a great deal of game-theory and rat-choice in my seminar classes, but, unfortunately, it has come in the form of numerous papers, piles of books, and several classes that did not build off of one another. I was left with the feeling that it was a very, very important subject, but it was presented in a manner that left me, as a student, with an incomplete picture of the topic and the breadth of work that has gone on in this field.
Mueller's achievements in this volume have been three:
1. Coherent presentation of the theory of public choice / rational politics.
2. Discussion of the most important empirical work that has gone on in this field in a unified fashion that leads one naturally into further inquiry in this area.
3. Logically organizes and presents the material in a way that reinforces concepts, logic, and thinking in the book.
These three things make this book a great review or introductory text to the field of public choice / rational politics that should be on the "must have" list of every serious student of politics and economics. Moreover, not being terribly skilled at mathematics myself, the material is presented both through intuitive written discussions, fairly simplistic "example" equations that are pretty easy to follow if you've had a "principles" microecon course with calculus, and, which I greatly appreciate, a fair amount of graphs. Moreover, the bibliography that the book draws on is very, very extensive...meaning that it has the additional utility of being a handy jumping off point if you're doing research in this area.
My only complaint, and this is a minor one, is that I would like a bit more math in the book either at the end of each chapter or in an appendix that works out, step-by-step, some of the additional concepts he runs over that aren't dealt with mathematically in the main text of the chapters themselves.
This, at least in my opinion, is an excellent book for the graduate student interested in learning about public choice / rational politics.