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Book Review: What Would Machiavelli Do? The Ends Justifies the Meanness

March 26th, 2006 · No Comments

Don’t read this book thinking you’re going to walk away with any nuggets of wisdom that you can use. This is a depressing, frustrating book that is justly called “the meanest business book” ever. Please, don’t take this book seriously. I listened to the audio version of the is book shortly after finishing “Love is the Killer App” and it was a total buzz-kill. It is the antithesis to Tim Sander’s “bizlove” and I found it very discouraging.

Okay, so I hated this book. But, I’ll still try to tell you about it. Every chapter begins with this question: “What would Machiavelli do?” and an answer, like “keep his friends close and his enemies closer,” or “he would kill people.” Then, the chapter relates stories from the author’s professional life and from the lives of famous business people like Jack Welch and Donald Trump. All of these stories are basically about CEO’s being really, really horrible. These stories are told unapologetically, with the author completely endorsing the behavior. I think it might have been really funny if it hadn’t been true.

The book is well-written though and flows easily. It will definitely keep you engaged, if not completely disgusted. Read it if you’re curious. Skip it if you’re already depressed.

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Tags: Books And Movies

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