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The New Machiavelli: H...
Jonathan Powell
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The New Machiavelli: How to Wield Power in the Modern World

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  164 ratings  ·  25 reviews
The New Machiavelli is a gripping account of life inside 'the bunker' of Number 10. In his twenty-first century reworking of Niccolo Machiavelli's influential masterpiece, The Prince, Jonathan Powell - Tony Blair's Chief of Staff from 1994 - 2007 - recounts the inside story of that period, drawing on his own unpublished diaries.

Taking the lessons of Machiavelli derived fro
ebook, 352 pages
Published October 31st 2010 by Vintage Digital (first published 2010)
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The book gave me an insight into British politics and the work of the government. The first thing that I liked about this book is Powell's argument on Machiavelli's writing, that he is not an icon for duplicity as what people used to believe but a person who spoke about the 'art of government' mainly the practicality of government and governing especially in his book "The Prince". Machiavelli's concern according to Powell is 'what government is' and not 'what government should be', which is some ...more
Although there is a lot about Machiavelli in this book, and there's some interesting advice on running a government tied back to the Florentine thinker, in fact this book is far more interesting as an insight into the workings of the Blair government.

To be fair to Powell, he points up a fair number of failures in Blair's decisions (and, by extension, his and the other members of the team). However, mostly this is an in depth hatchet-job on Gordon Brown and his followers. Now this might be well
This book is an enjoyable, gossipy read, but it is holed below the waterline by its abysmally partisan nature. It makes plenty of fair points about Gordon Brown - who sounds like a nightmare to work with. But while Powell is ready to put the knife into Brown, Ed Balls and Ed Miliband - two of the people attempting to lead the Labour Party back to power - he is less ready to make anything but the mildest criticisms of George Bush and the neo-cons. Alistair Campbell's resignation from Downing St i ...more
Ian Smith
Entertaining, revealing, imaginative (in making the link to The Prince), yet sad. In some ways reveals more of Gordon Brown's nature than Tony Blair's, with an almost pathological desire to destroy his character and reputation. Compelling read, but where does the truth lie?
George Moody
This is a fun, gossipy account of the Blair years from Jonathan Powell who served as Blair’s chief of staff throughout. It’s strong on the machinery of British government and the practicalities of manipulating it, and revealing too on the emotions involved in doing so. It suffers however from the author’s diplomatic skills as whilst engaging it tells us little of substance in the end.

Of course this is a Blairite account so the assault on Gordon Brown is relentless. Much of the material on Brown’
James Hetzel
Too much Powell / Tony Blair. Too little Machiavelli. I started off reading, moved to skimming and settled into skipping large chunks.
Abysmally awful. A complete waste of time to struggle through this jumbled mess of gossip, self-rigtheousness and the endless baaad writing. The sad thing is, that the basic idea is most complling (Machiavelli as a filter through to which view Blair's 10 years at number 10). And the author in principle must have been ideally placed (as the PM's Chief of Staff) to observe, learn and extract, but ye gods how he fumbles the assignment.

Maybe the author could recover his credibility in a 2nd (substan
Enjoyed this more than I thought. Machiavelli works quite well as a framing device. The best bit is that it's full of anecdotes and the insight it sheds on the mechanics of government - turns out civil servants are a right pain in the arse.

The slightly disconcerting thing is Powell's constant snipes at all of the checks and balances that are in place to rein in the excesses of executive power - he just sees them as barriers preventing Blair from saving the world.

Powell paints a nice portrait of
This book was the easiest, and most entertaining, read of any memoir I've come across from the last Labour government. The link to Machiavelli is an interesting paradigm through which to view the New Labour government and made the read more enjoyable. I'm sure this book is biased, but I think it's a bit less bias than most, and on the whole quite balanced.

Whether you supported the last government or not this is worth a read and contains something for everyone to agree with.
Although Machiavelli is thought of as espousing a politics of deviousness and treachery, in Powell's recounting, his writings have direct application to the practical realities of modern politics. Powell, Tony Blair's chief of staff from 1994 to 2007, provides an insider's look of the twists and turns - and there are so many - of governing in England. With all the constant tumult, the pressures exerting themselves from all directions, it's amazing that anything ever gets done. Mr. Powell present ...more
Paul Taylor
An interesting analysis, travelled by the author's decision to follow chapter headings used in The Prince. Undoubtedly a biased account :"we made some mistakes Gordon really messed up". That said, Brown's premiership was better forgotten.
Reef Al
An inside look into Tony Blair's years in politics, more specifically in Government.
Mr. Powell is a very good writer. The book is accessible to most readers in terms of style and language. Moreover, Mr. Powell's writing skills supplies the reader with all the tools needed to envisage the events.
One, however, cannot shake the sense that the writer glorifies Blair and attacks Brown whenever possible (not that it is surprising), but the writer overdoes it.
Overall, th book is a good read for anyo
This is a really intriguing retelling of the New Labour years, told from the standpoint of a hardcore Blairite who makes no attempt to disguise his partisanship, his hero-worship of Tony and his dislike of Gordon. The book is structured around the lessons of Machiavelli's "The Prince", and he's not unaware of the irony that he seems to display all the characteristics of the stereotypically Machiavellian personality even as he is trying to dispel the myths about the man's philosophy.
It's definit

I thoroughly enjoyed this book & was much more engaged in reading it than I had thought I would be, even going so far as to fold down page corners & underline passages! I really liked the links to Machiavelli's The Prince, although I felt the earlier references worked better than some of the later ones. I also enjoyed the very candid insight into number 10 during the Blair premiership. Not to mention that many of the anecdotes are extremely funny (John Prescott's push polling a stand ou
An interesting insiders view of the Blair governments as seen from the position of the chief of Staff.

Facsinating in parts, especially when he covers the poisionous relationship between Blair and Brown, and tedious in others where he brushes over the scandals as though they were minor speed bumps.

You cannot help but think that the Machiavelli link is a touch arrogant, as he tries to justify the autocratic way that they ran the government as the right way.
A good read, if you want to get inside Nr 10 during the Tony Blair years.
Sorin Hadârcă
A must read for politicians and civil servants alike. It must be noted that Powell is obviously 'in love' with his PM and to the detriment of Gordon Browne, his successor. All in one, even if you are not into the British politics it is an eye opener in many ways.
Somewhat of a let down, with a title as such I was expecting a good analytical book. Instead, I found myself reading a very self serving gossip filled work. Don't let the title fooled you, this is nothing more than the political version of "TMZ".
The book's merit lies less in its self-congratulatory account of the Blair years by the author as insider than in its more generalised remarks upon the applicability of Machiavellian advice to successful modern leadership.
Competent but not terribly perceptive. This book is for the lay reader with little or no understanding of political science, politics, or Machiavelli.

Mild Recommendation.
Couldn't put it down. An amazingly frank insight into the nuts and bolts of the Blair years. We never had it so good.
Dumitru Ciorici
Foarte bună carte pentru cei care doresc să pătrundă în tainele gestionării puterii și arta compromisului în politică.
Brian Mcleish
A thinly disguised memoir dressed up as political thought but interesting for all that!
Totally fascinating analysis of how power works in modern democratic politics.
Teo  Graur
Frank, insightful and highly entertaining
Mohammad marked it as to-read
Nov 19, 2015
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Adam Oliver
Adam Oliver marked it as to-read
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