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Machiavelli on Modern Leadership: Why Machiavelli's Iron Rules Are As Timely And Important Today As Five Centuries Ago Paperback – May 5, 2000
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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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Kirkus Reviews
Top Customer Reviews
Looking back over my own life, I found many classic Machiavellian examples, especially of the "bad" prince, in that terrible Communist world I left behind in 1978. Machiavelli tells us that, because men are more disposed toward evil than toward good, the supreme leaders are bloody minded; that is exactly how Nikita Khrushchev, one of my "supreme bosses" from my other life, looked to me, both when he was sober and when he was drunk. The Machiavellian man uses change and flexibility to stay on top, but the Soviet bloc leaders I knew were increasingly dogmatic and inflexible, culminating with Leonid Brezhnev, who acted like a mechanical puppet (as does Boris Yeltsin today).Read more ›
Our first impression of Mr. Ledeen was that he was way out there. He has very strong opinions of how the world works. He loves Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher for instance. LOVES them. But after reading the book through, and then reading the original Machiavelli's "the prince," we determined that Michael Ledeen knew exactly what he was talking about!
We also decided to learn more about Michael Ledeen, so we went online. We went to a web site about him and learned that the man has a double Phd in Philosophy and history respectively. We found his e-mail address and send him a note, expressing our enjoyment of his book. He promptly replied BACK to us and explained his views on the George W. Bush presidency.
This book is fun, interesting, true to Machilavelli completely, and Mr. Ledeen makes a good comparison of the modern time with the time in which Machiavelli lived.
On the other hand, the commandment "thou shalt not murder" is correct versus "thou shalt not kill". The Hebrew words for murder and kill are only slightly different, but absolutely unambiguous. And unlike the New Testament, the Torah has not gone through tons of alterations. There are other facts that are easily verified or refuted.
So why read it? If you read "The Prince", you better know your history (but I strongly recommend you read it first). Michael A. Ledeen uses modern day examples to help illustrate Machiavelli's insights. This should make it much easier to understand. But if you wonder about the facts behind the example, do check it out yourself and don't take the authors words as Gospel.
Instead, Ledeen comes across as mildly senile, and disappointingly arrogant. This book, while being a peaen to Machiavelli, attempts to draw glorious parallels between Machiavelli and big egos in the American pantheon of not-so-profound men, like Bill Gates, just one of the "figurines" Ledeen holds aloft like a boy playing with a superman doll.
In the section 'How to Rule,' on page 117, Ledeen writes "Since it is the highest good, the defense of the country is one of those extreme situations in which a leader is justified in commiting evil" -- the book is filled with passages like these, reminiscent of Strauss's maxim of "the noble lie", then interwoven with factual innacuracies (such as Ledeen's claim that Gates "invented" the Basic programming language).
I remember the fiasco around another book Ledeen wrote back in the eighties, one that claimed to uncover a vast world-wide global conspiracy by the Soviet Union. In the book, Ledeen claimed to have evidence that every terrorist group around the world was actually controlled by the USSR: so Abu Nidal and the IRA both collected their paychecks from the same paymaster, etc.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The rules do not change, but how they are used today does matter if you want to know your opponents. Pay attention!Published 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
Great book, it presents Machiavelli to the modern reader with tips and interesting insights. It also clears away long held misconceptions about MachiavelliPublished 22 months ago by Enrique Ho-Fernandez
This book is an excellent4 companion piece that goes well with The Prince. The author has detailed appropriate examples of how the key principles from The Prince have played out in... Read morePublished on May 9, 2014 by Amazon Customer
I liked the book and the fact that Machiavelli did what he had too survive, that your friend may be your enemy and at times your enemy maybe your friend- great bookPublished on February 14, 2014 by ROD ROBERTS
THIS IS HISTORICAL AND SAME TIME TIMING FOR THE GREAT LEADER AND SHARPENING LEADERSHIP SKILLS WHICH IS A MUST FOR ALL PRESENT DAY LEADERSPublished on May 22, 2013 by Tinto Lacinto
Michael Ledeen is a terrific commentator and policy analyst whose work I link to in my Old Jarhead blog from time to time. Read morePublished on June 15, 2012 by Robert A. Hall
Look for how to lead and why you need to lead this way by looking to Machiavelli. His penchant for grace isn't based on masturbatory tenets but on virtue. Read morePublished on February 16, 2009 by P. J. Chenard