Have you read the prince? It's a really good book not deserving of its reputation. It's far less "Machiavellian" than 48 laws of power and has more engaging less contradictory more practical advice, insight, and historical anecdotes.
Of course, some of its insight may not sit well with people. It advises leaders to maintain only the illusion of faith. Rather consistent with the actions and behaviors of those in power which led to Marx seeing religion as "the opiate of the masses."
It's still surprisingly relevant - even chapters about hiring mercenary armies are applicable to hiring a contractor workforce today.