In his strongly argued, thoroughly researched, and well written study, Reinoud Leenders tells a fascinating story about elite competition over resources in postwar politics. What is most intriguing in this particular book on Lebanon is not the complexity of the political order agreed to in 1989 but the unforeseen consequences of the initially praised new formula of power sharing as trust building. Counterintuitively, a fairer representation of distinct groups turns out to have harmed the public interest through a series of failures to ensure a transparent process of policymaking. Leenders offers a detailed account of the price Lebanon had to pay for the accommodation of social conflict, that is, institutional gridlocks and widespread misuse of state resources by politicians. The lessons implied in Spoils of Truce gain special importance now, when in the aftermath of the Arab Spring, constitutional engineers and practitioners engage in the building of new political institutions in many Middle Eastern and North African countries.