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The Prince [Paperback]

Niccolo Machiavelli
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (132 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 19, 2011 1613820453 978-1613820452
The Prince is a classic book that explores the attainment, maintenance, and utilization of political power in the western world. Machiavelli wrote The Prince to demonstrate his skill in the art of the state, presenting advice on how a prince might acquire and hold power. Machiavelli defended the notion of rule by force rather than by law. Accordingly, The Prince seems to rationalize a number of actions done solely to perpetuate power. It is an examination of power-its attainment, development, and successful use.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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The Prince + The Art Of War + The 48 Laws of Power
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Editorial Reviews


A superb translation; with an excellent, sensible introduction. --Michael Altschul, Case Western Reserve

"A superb translation; with an excellent, sensible introduction."--Michael Altschul, Case Western Reserve University
"Bondanella's 'Introduction' is excellent; also, the fine translation offers much for the humanity student."--Darlene J. Alberts, Ohio Dominican College
"Every leader in the third world should read this and be advised by it." --Godwin C. Duru, Ohio Dominican College
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Niccolò Machiavelli (1469–1527) was an Italian philosopher, humanist, and writer based in Florence during the Renaissance. He is one of the main founders of modern political science. He was a diplomat, political philosopher, playwright, and a civil servant of the Florentine Republic. He also wrote comedies, carnival songs, poetry, and some of the most well-known personal correspondence in the Italian language. His position in the regime of Florence as Secretary to the Second Chancery of the Republic of Florence lasted from 1498 to 1512, the period in which the de' Medici were not in power. Machiavelli's most well-known writing was, however, after this period, during the time when the de' Medici recovered power, and Machiavelli was removed from all positions of responsibility. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 130 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Brown (May 19, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1613820453
  • ISBN-13: 978-1613820452
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (132 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #712,781 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) was born in Florence. He served the Florentine republic as a secretary and second chancellor, but was expelled from public life when the Medici family returned to power in 1512.His most famous work, The Prince, was written in an attempt to gain favour with the Medicis and return to politics.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A guide to gaining and maintaining power March 27, 2008
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book was written by the famous Italian statesman Niccolo Machiavelli in 1531. This book is a classic and I was pleasantly surprised that the content was not dated and the principles translate easily into the modern worlds of business and politics.
The author wrote this book as an instruction guide for governing princes in the 1500's when Italy was divided into city states and were being defeated by many foreign powers. I belive that the work is directed to Lorenzo de Medici by a letter included in the work and because at the end of the writing Machiavelli calls for a prince to unite and lead Italy against its oppressors.
The book is not unethical as I had imagined from my understanding of the ruthlessness of Machiavellian ethics. The author is only explaining tactics to use to maintain power in a kingdom or city state that are pragmatic for his time period.
Here are some examples from the book:
1. When conquering a territory keep the current laws and institutions in place, but eliminate all the family of the defeated prince.
2. When trouble is sensed ahead of time it can be easily remedied, if you wait for it to show itself, it is to late.
3. Whoever is responsible for another becoming powerful, ruins himself.
4. There is no surer way of keeping possesion than by devastation.
5. Men do you are harm either because they hate you or they fear you.
6. Violence must be inflicted once and for all, it must be over quickly.
7. Build your power through the people.
8. Power is maintained through religious institutions.
9. Neglect the art of war and you lose your state.
10. If you act virtuously, you will be undone by those who are not, make use of this or not according to need.
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The First Business Book I have ever read December 5, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Actually, this book about political theory is applicable to any organization, not just governmental. Niccolo Machiavelli was a very shrewd man. A book full of pearls such as "Whoever believes that with great men new services wipe out old injuries deceives himslef"; "Without opportunity their prowess would have been extinguished and without such prowess the opportunity would have come in vain"; "And here it has to be noted that men must either be pampered or crushed, because they can get revenge for small injuries but not for grievous ones"; "The first opinion that is formed of a ruler's intelligence is based on the quality of men he has around him"; "But as soon as you disarm your subjects you start to offend them" and many many others. I am glad I am writing this review because it has been such a long time since I went back to my small yellow book for reference.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Most Famous Book on Politics Ever Written. December 15, 2005
Anyone who picks up Machiavelli's "The Prince" holds in his hands the most famous book on politics ever written. Its closest rival might be Plato's "Republic," but that book discusses politics in the context of things above politics, and politics turns out to have a limited and subordinate place. In "The Prince" Machiavelli also discusses politics in relation to things outside of politics, but his conclusion is very different. Politics according to him is not limited by things above it, and things normally taken to be outside politics--the "givens" in any political situation--turn out to be much more under the control of politics than politicians, peoples, and philosophers have hitherto assumed. The renown of "The Prince" is precisley to have been the first and best book to argue that politics has and should have its own rules and should not accept rules of any kind or from any source where the object is not to win or prevail over others. Without hesitation or reservation, five stars.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Old Nick, Or the Satanic Proverbs of Power October 20, 2008
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This short slender work marks a landmark in Western Civilization and made the name of the author a synonym for Satan. In 26 short, crisp essays, Niccolo Machiavelli lays out the precepts whereby a nation may be subjugated to the will of a leader, whether prince, dicator or president. Machiavelli was born in 1469 and served the republic city-state of Florence as a high-level diplomat and minister of miliatary affairs for 13 years, undertaking at least 24 crucial foreign missions. When the Medici returned to power, Machiavelli was exiled from the city and he turned his mind to authoring a massive treatise titled THE REPUBLIC. Out of that larger work, these short essays were condensed. Machiavelli had one goal in so creating THE PRINCE; he desired the unification of Italy.

However, he authored the first and one of the best works of political science ever penned.

Unlike previous works of political thought, THE PRINCE is not philosophical in nature. The author is focused on the obtaining and the maintaining of power. "Morality" is not the intent. See chapter 15:

"A man who wishes to make a profession of goodness in everything must necessarily come to grief among so many who are not good. Therefore it is necessary for a learn how not to be good, and to use this knowledge and not use it, according to the necessity of the case."

Or chapter 18: "Thus it well to seem merciful, faithful, humane, sincere, religious and also to be so; but you must have the mind so disposed that when it is needful to be otherwise you may be able to to change to the opposite qualities."

The language of this is quaint and a little stilted. It stems from the translation done by Luigi Ricci in 1903, now in the public domain.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars He is still alive in every politician and government.
I believe that we, women, (or should I say "I") should learn to think more like him. At first I wasn't very enthusiastic just by the tittle, but once I start reading it, I... Read more
Published 12 days ago by Ma
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth a read
Good book with advise that is still useful today. Along the lines of The Art of War. Has helpful footnotes to put certain sections into context. Worth the read.
Published 1 month ago by Matthew9519
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice educator's education
This book, unbeknownst to me, is annotated with information that helps the reader understand the context and period in which the book was written. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Nancy H
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Politics
its good for politicians ....of both liberal and socialist is not very moral in its actions but the methods work.
Published 2 months ago by Dennis Dowling
5.0 out of 5 stars But What Does "The Prince" Have to Do With Today?
I love "The Prince" because it distills much of what man has learned about politics, governance, and history in poignant observations and advice. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Thomas Quinn
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Read
This classic book is one that should be on every bookshelf. It can broaden the mind and enhance the creativity of a person.
Published 3 months ago by Josh
5.0 out of 5 stars Analytically astute, politically and psychologically perceptive.
Machiavelli’s lessons stood the test of time and were accomplished simultaneously with Columbus’s discovery of America. Read more
Published 5 months ago by John Grimsrud
5.0 out of 5 stars School project
Was a school project for my son. Project went well and it helped out prices was good and it gave my kids
Published 6 months ago by james Elliott
4.0 out of 5 stars Definite good addition to newphew's library
Read this book and maintained an A average in class for my insights in American Literature. Purchased this for my nephew to read for himself.
Published 6 months ago by Lisaad71
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece!
This book is truly amazing. Do your history, get a context for who the man was and the time period in which he lived. Read more
Published 6 months ago by DkHammy
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