The New Machiavelli: The Art of Politics in Business

Alistair McAlpine, Author
Alistair McAlpine, Author John Wiley & Sons $24.95 (205p) ISBN 978-0-471-29564-8
Paperback - 978-0-670-86498-0
Paperback - 205 pages - 978-0-471-35095-8
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-613-91348-5
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Much like Machiavelli's The Prince, the premise of this book can be debated. Is it a clever satire of how-to-succeed business manuals or a straightforward attempt at offering business advice? It's hard to say, but what is clear is that McAlpine, former treasurer and deputy chairman of Britain's Conservative Party under Thatcher, has written an entertaining guide to maneuvering through today's extremely political landscape by relying on The Prince. And why this book? Because of the ""striking similarity between the city-states of 15th-century Italy and the great corporations of the last half of the 20th century."" If that is true, then what better inspiration than Machiavelli? McAlpine (The Servant) quotes from The Prince at the beginning of each chapter to offer a jumping-off point for discussion of how to create a new business (your odds of success are much greater if you don't innovate too much), how to construct your business (the simpler the better) and how to negotiate (never attribute your motives to the opposition). The advice is sound and, while occasionally wordy, witty. (Oct.)
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