Niccolo Machiavelli, one of the eminent minds of the Italian Renaissance, spent much of a long and active lifetime trying to determine and understand what exceptional qualities of human character-- and what surrounding elements of fortune, luck, and timing-- made great men great leaders successful in war and peace. In perhaps the liveliest book on Machiavelli in years, Michael A. Ledeen measures contemporary movers and doers against the timeless standards established by the great Renaissance writer. Titans of statecraft (Margaret Thatcher, Francois Mitterrand, Pope John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton); business and finance (Bill Gates); Wall Street and investing (Warren Buffett); the military (Colin Powell), and sports (Michael Jordan) are judged by Machiavelli's precepts on leadership and the proper use of power. The result is a wide-ranging and scintillating study that illuminates the thoughts of the Renaissance master and the actions of today's truly towering figures as well as the character-challenged pretenders to greatness. Here is an exceptional book on Machiavelli and his ultra-realistic exploration of human nature-- then and now.