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The "Machiavellian" writers Burnham discusses span a rather diverse spectrum of views. What they have in common is an objective, scientific approach to politics that avoids allowing wishful thinking, or ideas about what ought to be, to impede their discernment of the way things actually are.
I disagreed with Burnham's tendency to dismiss religious ideas as inherently irrationalist. Also, his attempt at clarification in response to Machiavelli's reputation ignores the fact that Machiavelli did, after all, offer some amoral advice, not just non-moral analysis. While some of Burnhams predictions proved correct only in the short run, his method contains within itself the the capacity for self-correction, which is part of the whole point of the book.
This book remains invaluable for all who seek to develop a scientific understanding of politics, regardless of their philosophical persuasion.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
The narration could drone, but the content was excellent. Many sections worth re-listening to and bookmarking. Filled with political myth busting and strategies and structures for preserving liberty in the real world.