The Modern Prince


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What Leaders Need to Know Now

Carnes Lord

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A provocative treatise on the requirements of leadership in the modern world

The role of leaders is never more crucial than during times of war. The ability to inspire confidence and communicate resolution is essential to the national interest. The requirements of leadership are not limited to military affairs: citizens look to leaders to guide the economy, protect the laws, and safeguard national values. Leadership has never been simple, but it is even more complicated in the age of mass democracy: globalization, the power of the media, and the constraints of bureaucracy are among the many challenges facing leaders at the beginning of the twenty-first century.

What do leaders need to know in order to be effective? Carnes Lord—an eminent political scientist who has held a number of high-level positions in the United States government—here offers witty and trenchant counsel to both leaders and the citizens who elect them. Exploring such issues as leadership in war and crises, diplomacy, the use of secret intelligence, the role of political advisors, and the media, Lord enumerates the major challenges confronting modern leaders and offers practical advice on how leaders can deal with them effectively.

Carnes Lord is professor of strategy at the Naval War College. He served as director of international communications and information policy for the National Security Council under Ronald Reagan, and was assistant to the vice president for national security affairs in the Bush administration.

An alternate selection of the Conservative Book Club

"Carnes Lord’s profound knowledge of history beautifully illuminates the relationship between leaders and their advisors. The author’s government service, close to the President’s immediate advisors, makes his book relevant for here and now."—Fred Charles Iklé, Undersecretary of Defense in the Reagan Administration

"This wonderful book covers everything you need to know about politics today—and don’t learn from political science today. Modelled on Machiavelli’s Prince and focused on America, it offers insights from Aristotle and takes examples from around the world. As counselor to his readers, Carnes Lord shows statesmen what they must think about and the rest of us how to assess them."—Harvey Mansfield, Harvard University

"The Modern Prince offers a bold and thoughtful exploration of the nature of political leadership and its relationship to contemporary democracy. The book reflects Carnes Lord’s unusual combination of classical scholarship and his experience working with national leaders on the highest level. It should be read by actual and aspiring leaders, and the citizens who select them."—Nathan Tarcov, University of Chicago

“A historically rich inquiry into the imperatives of leadership in the 21st century.”—Thomas L. Pangle, Government, University of Texas at Austin

"Both learned and well-informed, this is political science as it was meant to be."—Walter Berns, author of Making Patriots

"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     

“Lord’s book will be essential reading for leaders, citizens, students, and teachers for at least a generation.”—Karl-Friedrich Walling, Claremont Review of Books

“A remarkable guide to leadership and should be mandatory reading for everyone who attains high office. It manages to both inform and raise our expectations for those who would become our democratically elected princes and potentates.”—Steven Martinovich,

“A book of great value to the serious student.”—Fred E. Baumann, National Interest

“A sophisticated guide to modern leadership. The book is a model of political reflection, clearly written and grounded both in the high theory of Aristotle, Machiavelli, and Locke and in real experience and history. . . . The reader will leave this profound book elevated, with a fuller sense of the promise and risks of politics—leave it a better citizen, perhaps.”—Brian C. Anderson, New York Sun

The Modern Prince is insightful, entertaining, and accessible to any reader interested in political leadership—an interest that Carnes Lord contends may be necessary for the ‘preservation of our way of life’.”—Stacy Bergstrom Haldi, Political Science Quarterly

“With its judicious combination of theoretical and practical insight, The Modern Prince . . . engages us in a subtle dialogue between the spirits of Aristotle and of Machiavelli.”—Will Morrisey, Society

"[A] stimulating appraisal of how the world works and doesn’t work. . . . Like Machiavelli, Mr. Lord presents his views with a certainty that will aggravate some readers and will stimulate debate. But that is what he is trying to do, and it makes The Modern Prince a success."—Philip Seib, The Dallas Morning News

"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

ISBN: 9780300105957
Publication Date: August 11, 2004
304 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4