I enjoyed this book a lot, because it gives insight into the thoughts and everyday work of diplomats three hundred years ago. It’s not a subject I’ve thought about in detail before, so this was fascinating. The approach to the matter is broad enough that the book could with very little editing work as a self-help or management book today. Plenty of good advice, too, such as insisting that secrecy is harmful and transparency builds trust, or that when an employee fails their task, the person managing and hiring (here: appointing) them carries their share of the responsibility. A lot of other advice is applicable still, too, such as the detailed approaches to negotiations, depending on one’s own power and advantage. I added some quotes here on goodreads, and I’ll add some more once I get them off my phone. Short, enjoyable, I’m happy I chose to read this book.
The prince should further remember that it is within his power to equip the able man with all the necessary means, but that it is not in his power to endow with intelligence one who does not possess it.
It is a crime against public safety not to uproot incapacity wherever it is discovered, or to allow an incompetent dimplomatist to remain one moment longer than necessary in a place where competency is sorely needed.
Most men in handling public affairs pay more attention to what they themselves say than to what is said to them. Their minds are so full of their own notions that they can think of nothing but of obtaining the ears of others for them.