Manton, What did you find so special about the works of Mackiavelli, such as The Prince? When I first read it years ago, I really didn't appreciate what was so great about it. Maybe, I read the book too fast and failed to understand the subtlety of it. I just figure there has to be something more to it than what I got out of it. Whenever I read a book like that such as Art of War or Clausewitz's book, I fail to see how relevant it can be beyond its specific focus.
Well, I'm not Manton, nor Machiavelli, nor even a philosophy scholar, but as I understand it, Machiavelli's major contribution was to introduce the idea of political *science*, as opposed to political *philosophy* (for example, the Republic of Plato) into the modern Western
scholarly tradition. The Art of War was of course a much older work, and not disimilar in its focus and tone, but it was also a Chinese work, and inaccessible to the west for a long time. Of course, there is a general belief (among the Chinese anyway) that there any western philosophies were already discoursed at length among Chinese scholars a couple of thousand years previous. Arrogant bastards.