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The Prince (Penguin Classics) Reissue Edition
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"Alter Egos" by Mark Landler
The deeply reported story of two supremely ambitious figures, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton—archrivals who became partners for a time, trailblazers who share a common sense of their historic destiny but hold very different beliefs about how to project American power. Learn more | See related books
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First, so you'll know what everyone is referring to when you come across the adjective "machiavellian" in news stories or other media. This adjective has become so commonplace (and overused) it is almost a cliche. Also, most who use it have never read this letter from Machiavelli, a Rennaisance courtier to his Prince (written from prison), but they insist on peppering writings with this noun turned adjective so much that as a matter of clearly understanding what is meant by the term, famiality with this brief treatise is helpful.
Second, this book does describe most (not all) power situations very well. From politics to corporations to most settings where advancement, influence and control exist, Machiavelli's observations and rules apply.
You will also discover that Machiavelli was not as evil as he is understood to be in popular thought. What he was doing was describing the rules of the game that have existed and always will exist for many situations involving selfish humans in competition. Machiavelli's rules are neither good nor bad in themselves -- they describe a process. What is good or bad is how those who master Machiavelli's rules use their power and position, in a society that tempers actions according to law and basic Judeo-Christian principals. When those principals do not exist (as in Nazi Germany, the Middle Ages or under Communism, or by those who refuse to live by these constraints), Machiavelli's rules take on their demonic and evil cloak; usually because they serve demonic and evil ends. In societies where positive constraints exist, for example the U.S. political system, Machiavellian behavior can produce excellent results.Read more ›
UPDATE 11/19/2011: MORE DETAIL
After having worked with this edition for a few years now, I feel the need to adjust my initial review in one way. The translation is not exactly the same as the one provided in 'The Portable Machiavelli' The Portable Machiavelli. 'The Portable Machiavelli' translation is based on the older edition done by Mark Musa, which Peter Bondanella contribute to as well. However, the Oxford World's Classics edition listed above is done solely by Bondanella.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I feel like I learned all I needed from the first two chapters. Incredibly slow dissertation that I didn't realize was going to trail on for so long. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Josh Dale
Machiavelli is absolutely brilliant in describing the socioeconomic factors necessary for the acquisition of conquered territory!Published 14 days ago by Amazon Customer
Great price, great shipping cost. good quality book. great translation. BUT! I am removing 1 star for one of the most mind-numbingly stupid things one could do to a collectible... Read morePublished 15 days ago by Amazon Customer
The fresh English translation makes the book much more accessible.Published 15 days ago by Julian Segal
First off on Machiavelli's work itself... It's a must read for anyone who studies politics and statesmanship. Read morePublished 16 days ago by April Dodge