The Prince (Penguin Classics)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 24, 2015
One of the best books that you'll ever read with practical insight into the human condition and the role power and money play in the lives of the politically inclined.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 13, 2014
Machiavelli's masterpiece, The Prince, was written in 1513. It became a guidebook for geopolitics and corporate strategy and for centuries it's been the modus operandi.

Just for fun try and imagine if in 500 years from now law enforcement (and criminals) engaged and operated in exactly the same way as the 1960s TV show, Batman. Crazy! Right?

That's effectively what has happen with The Prince. It was cleverly written as a farce--as commentary on politics. Machiavelli was the Stephen Colbert of his day. Except it was too cleverly written. The governing elite took it to heart. Human societies have suffered the consequences ever since.

Machiavelli asks of the Princes, "Is it better to be loved or feared?"

It has always been viewed as a rhetorical question. That must change.
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I dont usually do book reviews, mostly music, but after reading The Prince, I just had to write a review. I first heard of this book a long time ago, when I was studying the Renaissance. Of course, you cannot study it without coming across Florence, and in Florence you will find Machiavelli.
After hearing what it was, a dark look on politics, on life, and on man, I picked it up and gave it a read. This, of course, isn't for everyone. You'll have a lot of trouble understanding it if you aren't familiar with the politics of the time, especially in Florence. I found myself looking in the dictionary once in a while anyway, even though I pride myself of being above average when it comes to knowlege of such things.
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Science of Politics

Niccolo Machiavelli's book "The Prince" written in 16th-century Florence, Machiavelli published his controversial work as a primer for princes, especially those founders of new regimes and orders. In a significant break with ancient theories of politics, Machiavelli argues that politics ought not to be written about as men and women wanted to it to be but as how it actually manifests in human society. The result is a text that recommends princes and politicians to use all means, whether fair or foul, to secure power and order. The text is considered by some to be the first modern treatment of the science of politics.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 17, 2015
Good book. It's a tough read but once you get used to the language it is incredible.
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on December 16, 2014
A more challenging read, being written 500 years ago and all. Its only 70 pages long, but feels longer. Machiavelli has an interesting take on gaining and maintaining power within monarchies, but can apply to other positions of power and government. Its cool to see anecdotes from the 1500's, and his methods for taking power make sense, though it is a VERY repetitive book. A lot of his tactics and ideals would not stick or be successful in todays world, but the perspective that the "prince" must keep is fascinating. I was almost going to give it 3 stars, but for $2 its a great deal.
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on July 11, 2014
Good history, many parallels to our day, you can see tactics political leaders use on us today (USA), helps you see through it/ call it out. Good to be aware of, but need to balance out with other readings or you will run roughshod over people, not practical in todays interconnected and sensitive world. Plus, some things are flat wrong/ immoral. Somewhat of a quick read. Led me to read a very similar work by him, the longer "Discourses on Livy" where he parels the path of ancient Rome (primarily) to his own circumstances in Rome (and generally discusses Rome and other countries).
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on December 15, 2014
A must read for anyone interested in philosophy, business, leadership, politics, or history.

Machiavelli tells us how things are, not how things should be. He tells us boldly how leaders throughout history have attained power, and retained it. This book is thought by many to be the model for politics today. In today's government all that matters is appearances and results, which is exactly how Machiavelli descries how people view their prince. Reading this book that was written over 500 years ago, will change your view on politics today.
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on May 30, 2013
This is a book that I've been planning on reading for years. Now on vacation I finally got to it. It has received much criticism over the years for its seeming brutality, but as the introduction states, it isn't about morality, but keeping control of a principality. And anyone who has worked in government or business knows, politics is brutal (ok not so brutal as in the 16th century perhaps). However, it is very well written and provides a fascinating look at the times and Machiavelli's thought processes.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 6, 2007
This book is for serious philosophical readers.

Machiavelli broke down a raw and ruthless political idea. I read the Art of War before this book, and they are similar. However, Machiavelli is much more aggressive. If you're reading this book for entertainment, it can be dry at times. Nonetheless, the information in this book is timeless, and should be an enjoyment for interested readers only.
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