In presenting the ideal skills, abilities, and qualities of a successful politico, The Capitol Hill Playbook speaks to today's generation of staffers like no other book before it. Weaving together Renaissance-era political philosophies and contemporary illustrations, Nicholas Balthazar enlists the help of Niccolo Machiavelli, author of the venerable political treatise The Prince, and Baldassare Castiglione, author of The Book of the Courtier-the authoritative account of Renaissance court life-to demonstrate two models of political life and their applicability today. Balthazar offers readers a path between these two methods, exploring the mechanics of working for elected officials but also discussing the philosophies behind contemporary political work. The Capitol Hill Playbook answers all the questions a newly hired staffer might want to ask: Why do politicians run for office? Why is devotion so important in politics? Why must a staffer be a good communicator? Why are friendships such an essential and elusive part of political life? How do you win a political knife fight? Why should a political staffer never wear a bow tie to the office? And more! A provocative and informative read, The Capitol Hill Playbook will be indispensible to any political aspirant and, with an intriguing look back to the Renaissance, reveals how politics today has both changed and remained the same through the centuries.