in mind when he discnssed the membersrnof small, niral, organic communities deliberatingrnand conducting their own go-rnernnrent. Mr. Morris may be a whiz atrngetting nincompoops and scoundrelsrnelected to high office and making snrernthey remain popular, but that does notrnmake him a Jefferson or a Madison, letrnalone a Machiavelli.rnDespite its flaws, Mr. Ledeen’s bookrnis far more interesting, and in severalrnplaces it is almost convincing.rnThough Mr. Ledeen is generally knownrnas a neoconservative (actually, ex-socialrndemocrat) journalist writing on foreignrnaffairs, those who recall the Iran-C’ontrarnscandal during the latter das of the Reaganrnadministration may remember himrnas the man who reportedly transmittedrnthe Israeli offer to fund the NicaraguanrnContras in exchange for the supply ofrnarms by die United States to the Khomeinirnregime in Iran, then at war with Israel’srnmajor enemy, Irac|. For some vears,rnMr. Ledeen has enjoyed a reputation ofrnbeing closely involved with both thernCentral Intelligence Agency and the Israelirnintelligence services, and he certainlyrnis knowledgeable about global huggermuggerrnof all descriptions. His bookrnmight have been more interesting had hernapplied some of this experhse to illustratingrnMaehiavelli’s realpolitik; alas, whatrnhe offers us instead consists mainly ofrnanecdotes about the late James Goldsmithrnand Bill Gates, Vince Lombardirnand Michael Jordan, Shaka Zrdu andrnRobert K. Lee, and various other figuresrnwho pop into his irriud. Lessons drawnrnfrom the exploits of these figures are thenrngeneralized bv invoking one or anotherrnof Maehiavelli’s precepts. In some cases,rnthis is amusing, but in otliers Mr. Ledeenrnis simply in error in his interpretahon ofrnwhat Machiavelli meant, and he somehnrcsrnsignificantly distorts Maehiavelli’srnmeaning.rnFor example, toward the end of thernbook, he recounts the story of CesarernBorgia and his lieutenant Reniirro dc Orea,rnbut he misses the point of the story asrnMachiavelli told it in chapter VII of ThernPrince. Borgia, having just conqueredrnthe Romagna, appointed dc Orca tornbring order to the area; after a year of draconianrnrule, de Orca was successfid, butrnhe had made himself and Borgia unpopular.rnMachiavelli writes of Borgia:rnRecognizing that past severities hadrngenerated a measure of hatredrnagainst him, he then determined tornfree himself of all popular suspicionrnby demonstrating that if therernhad been any acts of cruelh’ thevrnhad proceeded not from him butrnfrom his minister instead.rnBorgia’s recourse was to have de Orca executedrnby being cut in half and then torndisplay the two halves of the body publicly,rnthus showing that the cidprit whornhad ruled so brutally had himself beenrnbrutally punished.rnMr. Ledeen, however, tells us thatrnRECEIVED WISDOMChestertonrnReview, Vol. XX’, Nos. 1 & 2 (February/May 1999).rnThis double i.ssiie of the Cliestcrton Renew takes up tlic subject ot fascism and itsrnalleged attractions for British Catholic writers. TJic best piece is b Chesterton himself,rnan uncollected essay entitled “The Return of Caesar,” in which he firml’ rejects notrnonly Nazism and Bolshevism but also the non-alternative of liberalism. The mainrnessay, by Kevin Morris, is notable only for the protests and criticism it evokes fromrnDaniel Callam and Idiilip Jenkins. Morris has little to say that is new, and in dodgingrnthe most obvious questions —what is fascism and why should we oppose it? —he imdercutsrnwhatever argument he might be making. One of the last of die believing liberals,rntdiilip Jenkins goes straight to the heart of the matter by taking up specitic examples ofrnintellectuals and politicians who first seemed to embrace and dien rejected Mussolini:rnIf we just take the ease of Mussolini, he was immensely popular throughout establishmentrncircles on both sides of the Adantic through the 1920s and eady 19s0s, as the la.strnbest hope against Communism, and it was in this sense that he was extolled by WinstonrnChurchill. If Churchill was a pro-Fascist, then die term has no meaning whatever.rnRight up to die Munich crisis and beyond, a rcmarkabh’ broad segment of respectablernpolitical opinion .saw Mussolini as a vital counterbalance against Hidcr and as die manrnwho might vet save Europe from die evils of var. There was little discredit in praisingrnMussolini in 19^0 or even 1935: it was shameful in 1940.rn”Machiavelli writes enthusiasticallyrnabout the punishment or execution ofrncorrupt persons, best of all if they are carriedrnout in a spectaeidar manner so as torndrive home the message to the people.”rnDe Orca was not “corrupt” at all, however,rnbut mereh’ followed Borgia’s orders;rnBorgia did not execute him for punitivernreasons but as a kind of public relationsrnstunt, to win the favor of the citizens byrnpunishing a harsh and oppressive ruler;rnand Machiavelli does not tell the storyrnbecause he is “endiusiashc” about physicalrnbrutality but to make a point concerningrnhow new territories acc|uircd b}’ conquestrnshould be governed so as to win diernsupport of their residents.rnTime and again, Mr. Ledeen uses similarrnexamples drawn from Machiavelli,rnalmost alwa}s in ways that exaggerate andrneven exult in the brutality diat Machiavellirnbelieved was occasionally necessar)-rnfor polihcal order. Mr. Ledeen describesrnMoses as “Maehiavelli’s favoriternhero,” though diis is clearly wrong (CesarernBorgia was Maehiavelli’s favoriternhero; Moses is mentioned only a fewrnhmcs in all of Maehiavelli’s works), andrnoffers an enthusiastic account of howrnMoses ordered the slaughter of somern3,000 people who had rebelled againstrnhim. Moses mav not be Maehiavelli’s favoriternhero, but he certainly seems to bernMr. Ledeen’s. Ledeen has more referencesrnto him in his index than to any otherrnsingle leader.rnWhat soon becomes fairly clear is thatrnMr. Ledeen’s real concern is not to applyrnMachiavelli to modern situations but tornjushfv’ die policies of the state of Israel asrnwell as American globalism —a necessarvrnappendage to Israeli foreign policy—inrngeneral. Machiavelli is used mainly asrnwindow-dressing for whatever aggressivernor deceptive actions Israel considers to bernin its interests. Thus, quoting Machiavellirnon the neeessitv of going to war and therndisadvantages of postponing it, Mr.rnLedeen tells us:rnSince it’s going to happen soonerrnor later, it’s best to fight under thernconditions most favorable to you.rnIn the earK eighties, Israel discoveredrnthat Iraq was developing nuclearrnweapons. Instead of postjjoningrnconflict with Iraq to a timernwhen Saddam Hussein could attackrnIsrael with atomic bombs, thernIsraelis struck first and destroyedrndie Iraqi nuclear reactor at Osirak.rnJapan’s attack on Pearl Harbor inrn2fa/CHRONICtESrnrnrn