- Paperback: 72 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (September 24, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1440428034
- ISBN-13: 978-1440428036
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.2 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1,462 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,936,039 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Prince Paperback – September 24, 2008
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“[Machiavelli] can still engage our attention with remarkable immediacy, and this cannot be explained solely by the appeal of his ironic observations on human behaviour. Perhaps the most important thing is the way he can compel us to reflect on our own priorities and the reasoning behind them; it is this intrusion into our own defenses that makes reading him an intriguing experience. As a scientific exponent of the political art Machiavelli may have had few followers; it is as a provocative rhetorician that he has had his real impact on history.” –from the Introduction by Dominic Baker-Smith --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Italian --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Top customer reviews
That being said, Machiavelli achieves what he sets out to achieve (i.e. A manual that could guide a fledgling prince expand and consolidate his state) in a most brilliant manner. His examples are profound and although the number of troops he cites may be a tad sketchy at times, he does an excellent job of recounting the names and the stratagems behind major military, diplomatic and other (some of which are less-than-savoury) manoeuvres proving that he was a chronicler beyond par.
This book is exceedingly well-written and the only reason I felt the need to give it only 4 stars is due to it's relevance (or lack thereof). We, in the 21st century do not form the target audience for Machiavelli and there is little in this book to take home, that hasn't already been touched upon by other sources both literary and otherwise.
Maurizio Viroli's introductory essay is basically an abbreviated version of his book "Machiavelli" (Oxford U.P., 1998). Viroli places Machiavelli in the tradition of classical republicanism going back through the Florentine humanists to Cicero and Livy, and he demonstrates effectively how Machiavelli's works are imbued with the language of that tradition, especially from the late Middle Ages on. Viroli's republican Machiavelli espoused the "vivere civile" ("civil life"), a political ideal that could only be realized in a republic, where people could participate in politics while subjecting themselves willingly to the rule of law because of their love of country and desire to serve the common good. The means enabling their political participation was rhetoric, an art central to the Roman republic and the republican tradition, and, Viroli insists, to Machiavelli's world view and his works. Consequently, if one recognizes Machiavelli's embrace of rhetoric, Viroli concludes that the notion of Machiavelli the scientist, the father of political science, must be rejected.
Having said that, the book is a kind of wisdom for- and observation of what makes a good leader. It also opens a door into various historic events and leaders that may be an obscurity to so many of us. Human cruelty was not invented in the 20th century and neither was deceit, murder, jealousy, ambition and ruthless thirst for power.
In view of even recent historical events, such as failed invasions, meddling with other people's countries and so on, this book rings true and should be read by those interested.
To bad I am to illiterate to read it in the original Italian text, but I am satisfied with this translation and brilliant book and will read it again for the hints on historic characters and further absorbing of its contents.