Machiavelli on Modern Leadership : Why Machiavelli's Iron Rules Are As Timely and Important Today As Five Centuries Ago

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9780312204716: Machiavelli on Modern Leadership : Why Machiavelli's Iron Rules Are As Timely and Important Today As Five Centuries Ago

Niccolo Machiavelli, one of the eminent minds of the Italian Renaissance, spent much of a long and active lifetime trying to determine and understand what exceptional qualities of human character-- and what surrounding elements of fortune, luck, and timing-- made great men great leaders successful in war and peace.

In perhaps the liveliest book on Machiavelli in years, Michael A. Ledeen measures contemporary movers and doers against the timeless standards established by the great Renaissance writer. Titans of statecraft (Margaret Thatcher, Francois Mitterrand, Pope John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton); business and finance (Bill Gates); Wall Street and investing (Warren Buffett); the military (Colin Powell), and sports (Michael Jordan) are judged by Machiavelli's precepts on leadership and the proper use of power. The result is a wide-ranging and scintillating study that illuminates the thoughts of the Renaissance master and the actions of today's truly towering figures as well as the character-challenged pretenders to greatness.

Here is an exceptional book on Machiavelli and his ultra-realistic exploration of human nature-- then and now.

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Review:

American Enterprise Institute resident scholar Michael A. Ledeen sees the same parallels today between human nature, power, and the state of our institutions that venerable Renaissance writer Niccolò Machiavelli established and expounded upon in Italy nearly 500 years earlier. In Machiavelli on Modern Leadership, he examines a variety of political, religious, economic, and even athletic leaders from the last days of the 20th century according to the exceptional tenets originally laid out in classic works such as The Prince and The Discourses.

His purpose now, Ledeen writes, is essentially the same as his subject's was then: "to present the basic principles of the proper and successful use of power in language that contemporary leaders can understand, the better to advance the common good." Although somewhat brief at less than 200 pages, this spirited book nonetheless manages to measure successfully the characters of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Ted Turner, Caspar Weinberger, Colin Powell, Yasir Arafat, and many others against the exceedingly rigorous (and often controversial) standards set by one of the most enduring of all leadership theorists. Despite following a string of moral philosophers and political analysts who have previously produced extensive material on both the man and his ideas, Ledeen shows in a fresh way precisely why Machiavelli's precepts remain as valid as when they were first penned. --Howard Rothman

From the Publisher:

"Machiavelli on Modern Leadership slaps modern society across the face with ancient truths about human nature and power. Its honesty takes your breath away and its many stories ring true." --Philip K. Howard, author of The Death of Common Sense

"To illustrate his ideas, Machiavelli made it a practice to give two examples, once ancient and one 'fresh.' With a firm grasp on American contemporary domestic and foreign policy, Michael Ledeen has provided what readers of Machiavelli need today--modern or 'fresh' examples. Machiavelli on Modern Leadership goes beyond the Medicis and the Borgias, reaching for intelligent and courageous examples in the corrupt worlds of modern government, business, the armed forces, and religion, to reveal that Machiavelli's warnings are hammering on the door of the twenty-first century." --Sebastian de Grazia, Pulitzer Prize--winning author of Machiavelli in Hell

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