17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
A guide to gaining and maintaining power,
This review is from: The Prince (Enriched Classics (Pocket)) (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.
The above is just a small sampling of the lessons in this book. My review can not do this book justice, it is full of wisdom and life lessons. It is a guide book for business leaders and politicians. I strongly suggest adding this book to your home library and referring to it often.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 14, 2008 3:03:27 PM PDT
L. J. Zint says:
You say that you were "pleasantly surprised that the content was not dated and the principles translate easily into the modern world of business and poltics". Why would you be surprised at all? Human nature never changes. "The Prince" is an expose' on human nature. Read "The Territorial Imperative" and you'll see what I mean.
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 15, 2008 8:15:48 AM PDT
Steve Burns says:
Great points. True. I will look at "The territorial imperative".
Posted on Dec 20, 2011 4:04:23 PM PST
Virgil Homer says:
This book explains why the world is in such great shape today. Its just reality, thats all. No big deal.
Posted on Mar 14, 2012 9:42:47 AM PDT
You appear to have got Machiavelli wrong in a couple of instances at least. Perhaps you can edit your review? There is at least one major typo which throws off the meaning of the sentence. Perhaps this is the problem.
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