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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprise read
This book is a surprising page turner - couldn't put it down.
Fascinating how apropos Macheiveli's observations were regarding the wielding of power, but how Powell, after making such interesting comparisons indicating that flakey Blair and the pathetic nightmare that was Brown, ignored most of Machiaveli's advise, that he still considers Blair will go down in...
Published on 24 Nov 2010 by Nesbo

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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good read, and insider's view of the Blair years
This is a good read, and for those interested in the Blair years, one of the best books from the pro-Blair camp. Powell was the ultimate insider, always at Blair's side. He is searing in his judgement on Gordon Brown, and backs this up with chapter and verse on exactly how Brown was so toxic. I read this soon after reading DC Confidental, Sir Christopher Meyer's book,...
Published on 4 Mar 2011 by David Weston


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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A unique insight, 6 Feb 2012
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This review is from: The New Machiavelli: How to Wield Power in the Modern World (Paperback)
Powell begins his book by stating that it isn't a memoir of his time in the Blair government, but a guide on how to govern which also draws lessons from Machiavelli. Powell's success in these aims is varied.

It is inevitable that Powell's explanation of government and how it works becomes a memoir of sorts, but despite his protestations this isn't a negative thing. Powell had a unique insight into Blair's government and this translates into fascinating reading. The Chief of Staff role is rarely discussed in UK politics (mostly due to its tradition of being a non-political civil servant role) and so it's particularly interesting to learn more about this role.

Powell seeks to draw parrallels between modern government and that during Machiavelli's time and claims that there are many lessons from Machiavelli that are still relevant. While making such comparisons is interesting, it occassionally comes across as contrived and it almost seems as if he's doing so merely to avoid the book becoming "just another" political memoir. A "how to govern" guide, drawing on his experiences and the writings of a range of commentators, not just confined to Machiavelli, might have been a better route to take.

Despite these criticisms, this book is definitely worth reading.
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8 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Just another political memoire, 15 Nov 2010
Don't know what it is about the Blair administration, but it produced a lot of would-be historians (Prescott, Campbell, Mandelson, Powell and Blair himself), none of whom seems capable of producing an account which grabs the attention.

This one is just another memoire which fails to get off the launchpad. Like everything associated with the Blair regime, it's full of unfulfilled promise.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sycophantic drivel, 27 Aug 2012
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B. Armstrong (Yorkshire, England) - See all my reviews
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Machiavelli must be turning in his grave, being likened to Blair - no substance,lots of bitching, sniping and arrogance, very little on Iraq, Mr Powell, Blair's legacy is that of a war criminal, can't see it ever improving
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 22 July 2011
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Dr. J. S. Grewal "Jas" (Warwickshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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I read this book straight after reading Tony Blair's book. It is well writen, engaging and offers an excellent study on leadership, with real examples.
It is a self-contained book, so it is advisable but not essential to read 'The Prince' first
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The New Machiavelli: How to Wield Power in the Modern World
The New Machiavelli: How to Wield Power in the Modern World by Jonathan Powell (Paperback - 28 July 2011)
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