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The Modern Prince: What Leaders Need to Know Now

The Modern Prince: What Leaders Need to Know Now
Author: Carnes Lord
ISBN 13: 9780300105957
ISBN 10: 300105959
Edition: 7.12.2004
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication Date: 2004-08-11
Format: Paperback
Pages: 304
List Price: $19.00

An eminent political scientist and government official here offers witty and trenchant counsel on what leaders need to know in order to be effective—how to deal with war and crises, diplomacy, secret intelligence, political advisors, the media, and more.

“A tour de force. . . . Lord’s understanding of the workings of government, both ancient and modern, is profound, and his ability to assimilate the two, makes The Modern Prince indispensable. . . . As a handbook for leaders it deserves to become an instant classic.”—Brian M. Carney, Wall Street Journal

“Our politics will be a lot healthier if our politicians can be persuaded to read Carnes Lord’s engaging and penetrating book. And even if the politicians don’t take Lord to heart, we should, so we can learn how to select better leaders.”—William Kristol, Editor, The Weekly Standard

“This wonderful book covers everything you need to know about politics today.”—Harvey Mansfield, Harvard University

Foreign Affairs

In this Machiavelli-inspired reflection on the future of leadership and statecraft in Western democracy, Lord worries that the growth of bureaucracy, the weakening of political parties, the rise of egalitarianism, and the expanding power of unaccountable institutions have endangered modern leadership. Although such developments make "prudent and effective" leadership more difficult, Lord nonetheless argues that a chief executive — embracing a moral vision — can chart the nation's course. Ronald Reagan is the critical example: lacking a political mandate and facing resistance, Reagan still accomplished a great deal. Lord's primary concern here is effective statecraft, and the book undertakes an elaborate and, alas, disjointed discussion, informed by various political philosophers, of knowledge, judgment, prudence, and enlightenment in the conduct of foreign affairs. Lord's advice to leaders is to acquire more knowledge about their political environment, national elites, and tools of government — a sensible but rather simplistic message.