Illustrating each of Machiavelli’s maxims with a description of events that occurred during Tony Blair's time as prime minister, Blair's former close adviser gives a devastating, frank, and insightful analysis of how power is wielded in the modern world In a 21st-century reworking of Niccolò Machiavelli's influential masterpiece, Jonathan Powell argues that the Italian philosopher is misunderstood, and explains how the lessons derived from his experience as an official in 15th-century Florence can still apply today. Drawing on his own unpublished diaries during his time as Blair's chief of staff, Powell gives a frank account of the intimate details of the internal political struggles, including the failure to join the Euro or hold a referendum on the European constitution; the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kosovo; the peace negotiations in Northern Ireland; and the relations with Clinton, Bush, and Chirac. Short, stark, and clear—much like The Prince—this gripping account of life inside "the bunker" of Number 10 draws lessons from those experiences, not just for political leaders but for anyone who has access to the levers of power.
About the Author
Jonathan Powell served as chief of staff to British Prime Minister Tony Blair from his election in 1997 until his resignation in 2007. The only senior member of staff to remain at Blair's side throughout his time at the top of British politics, he was described by the Guardian as being "at the heart of all [Blair's] key foreign policy initiatives." He is now senior managing director of Morgan Stanley's investment banking division.
"Intriguing and engaging . . . sets up fascinating parallels that prove there is really nothing new in politics." —Financial Times
"Gloriously indiscreet." —Sunday Times
"It is not just another memoir of the period, it is about the best . . . A fascinating book." —Guardian