Regina Leader-Post

The Prince lauded by former bank chief


LONDON — Mervyn King, the former Bank of England governor who served under three prime ministers, chose Niccolo Machiavell­i’s The Prince as his favourite book and said it offers lessons for today’s rulers.

“It’s a tremendous read” and “a wonderful treatise on political statecraft,” King said in an interview. “It is an extraordin­ary book because of its timelessne­ss.”

The Prince, written in the 16th century as a guide for those in power, inspired the term “Machiavell­ian,” defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “practicing duplicity in statecraft or in general conduct.” King, who left the U.K. central bank in June, said he disagreed with negative interpreta­tions of the text.

“What I liked about The Prince is that far from being cynical, in my view, it exhibits what John Maynard Keynes once called ruthless truth telling,” King said. “He’s being extraordin­arily clear and objective about what is required to obtain and stay in power.”

The work is a “forerunner” to today’s politics and politician­s “do need to understand what it takes to win power and why they’re doing it,” he said.

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