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

I really did enjoy this book. Jonathan Powell was Tony Blair’s chief of staff during the years Blair was Prime Minister. He is also a student of Machiavelli, and what Powell does so well and fascinatingly is interweave sayings of Machiavelli into his account of his years with Blair – and it works wonderfully.

For a political book this is very gripping & enjoyable as well as informative. Not once did I feel bogged down nor was I struggling through chapters. Powell has added a valuable and important insight into the Blair government; it’s internal struggles and conflicts and most strikingly, the humanness and ‘normality’ of government. By this I mean that politicians are not titanic personalities who are doing superman work, but flawed, fragile and ego-centered human beings struggling to a job they have been given to do – and more often than they would like, having a bad day.

Highly recommended.


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