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The Prince (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – May 15, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0199535699 ISBN-10: 0199535698 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: Oxford World's Classics
  • Paperback: 186 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1st edition (May 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199535698
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199535699
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.2 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,588 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Literary scholar Peter Bondanella rightly seeks the cold elegance and readability of the original. Serious English readers will want both translations. Lauro Martines, TLS

About the Author

Niccolo di Bernardo dei Machiavelli (1469-1527) was an Italian diplomat, political philosopher, musician, poet and playwright. Peter Bondanella is a Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature and Italian at Indiana University. Maurizio Viroli is a Professor of Politics, Princeton University.

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

4.7 out of 5 stars
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A must read for anyone interested in politics.
Luis Feliciano
This book was written by the famous Italian statesman Niccolo Machiavelli in 1531.
Steve Burns
Machiavelli's writing was witty and straight-forward.
Amelia Lloyd-Jones

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By btm018 on March 19, 2006
Format: Paperback
I won't expound the joys of reading Machiavelli since many other reviewers have done so. Peter Bondanella's translation is wonderfully readable, capturing both the cadence and elegant simplicity of Machiavelli. Bondanella has updated his previous translation of 'The Prince' (with Mark Musa), which can be found in the previous Oxford edition and in the Viking Portable Machiavelli. The introduction by Maurizio Viroli is a pleasant new feature. The introduction covers all of the basic points necessary for anyone new to Machiavelli, while including some of Viroli's own ideas about Machiavelli's use of contemporary principles of rhetoric. For a more detailed introduction to Machiavelli you may also want to try the paperback edition of Viroli's book Machiavelli (Founders of Modern Political and Social Thought), although the price is quite high for an introduction. Two excellent and inexpensive introductions are Quentin Skinner's "Machiavelli: A Very Short Introduction" (Oxford) and Cary Nederman's "Machiavelli: A Beginner's Guide"(Oneworld), both of which cover more than just 'The Prince'. Finally, the low price makes this edition a great value.

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.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Alain Lipus on June 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
Niccolo Machiavelli was obviously very bright and talented man. He was negotiator in foreign affairs for the Florentine republic and has seen (and of course used) many diplomatic features which are commonly used even today. To be taken back to favor with deMedici family, which house arrested him after he defended his town against their attack, he wrote a book in which he put his vast knowledge to them. This book is a perfect example of 15th and 16th century politics and is written as a workbook for a succesful ruler. Its principles remain unchanged and therefore it is basic reading for most political and economical high schools. After you finish it you realize that democracy most of the time uses rules of brutal Middle Ages, they are only packed more nicely than they used to be. If you need political or business success or if you need to lead people in any sort of way, you can't miss this little book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Marie Audrey L. on November 8, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is very useful for politicians and rulers; no wonder many conquerors such as Cromwell, Louis XIV,Napoleon I, and Adolf Hitler have spent many years perusing and practicing it.Unfortunately, the passage of time has dimmed the influence and power of this book.Let me take several historical examples: Louis XIV and Cromwell on the seventeenth century has very successfully practiced the methods in this book to gain power. Louis XIV could rule France absolutely until his death without any considerable rebellion.On the beginning of the nineteenth century Napoleon I also did the same thing as Louis XIV;on the onset of his empire he ruled successfully, but his power diminished drastically and he was forced to abdicate twice and exiled.This is because his enemies had known that he was merely copying the methods in this book. Adolf Hitler, on World War II also did the same thing and he was forced to bow down to his enemies only 5 years after the beginning of the war. If we practiced these methods now, I think that we won't win more than a single battle or two. Nowadays many people in the world have read this book, not except an 11-year Indonesian girl like me. To gain power and deceive the world now, we should use a new method. Nowadays the world is almost united and democracy is very popular. To conquer the world we must use a new method, and not merely relying on this book like our predecesors unless we are ready to meet failure very soon. This book is a good beginning,anyhow. Go and get it. I am sure that anyone interested in history(especially Italian history in the sixteenth century),politics and art of war & gaining power will enjoy perusing it very much. Who knows, you will be the first(wo)man to conquer and control the world?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Giuseppe D. on May 2, 2000
Format: Paperback
Machiavelli decribes the one thing about politics that Plato and the others don't, and that is the reality of it. He does not talk about the Ideal State, rather, the States as it is -- the real and almost always brutal State. His work does not hold anything back. He tells it like it is -- like a realist. His use of history and historical characters is grand. This is a book for all.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 18, 1999
Format: Paperback
Although written centuries prior to Richard Bolt's masterpiece on the Anglican saint Sir Thomas More, it remains an incredible antithesis to the doctrine contained within. For a ruler to unify, control, and serve his populace, preached Machiavelli, he must forgo his morals and beliefs for the greater cause of nation, state, and religion. Whether this view is effective or destructive, it remains completely profound and has forever changed Western politics.
Many argue that Machiavelli wrote this brochure simply to please the ruling family of Florence, the principality in which he resided. Although correct to a certain extent, Machiavelli's genius for consistency in a political system remain's true throughout.
The vast majority of the ideas expressed within this piece are cruel and heartless. The reason for this is partially that a state contains no soul or conscience, according to Machiavelli, but must be devoted to the need for survival and independence alone.
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