- Series: Rethinking the Western Tradition
- Paperback: 192 pages
- Publisher: Yale University Press; Revised ed. edition (July 21, 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0300064039
- ISBN-13: 978-0300064032
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1,582 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,149,487 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Prince (Rethinking the Western Tradition) Revised ed. Edition
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I've had both the French and English versions and they are amazing. The book is amazing. It is very necessary for any pragmatist and allows you to understand how to deal with the realities of ruling and being a leader in most environments on this earth.
As with all books, you interpret it as you will but it is nonetheless an amazing read and guide to leadership
A consideration on my part would be to be careful which edition you receive. The book here on the website claims to have 164 pages and published by Simon & Brown 2011, the ISBN 1613821719 and the one I received over the mail has 106 pages and was published by St. Martin's Press, NY 1997 with an ISBN 0-14-044752-0. A 14 year difference, hence my reason for giving 3 stars instead of 5.
The book is a historical account of strategic maneuvers through Northern Italy in order for rulers to dominate neighboring provinces. Machiavelli himself is displayed as a wise power player, preaching the importance of making bold decisions and always thinking ahead. Readers are also taken into the unconventional mind of Machiavelli and his insight into a darker domain of human psychology. Machiavelli argues that maneuvers have to be insidious and masked in darkness. The book claims that the "qualities traditionally considered as 'virtuous', in the Christian or feudal senses, were not virtuous at all in a prince."(pg xxvi) Claiming that double-cross, deceit, and an overwhelming desire for more are traits all good "princes" must posses in order to be successful in the contest of power.
The book is organized as a practical, "how-to" guide which makes it extremely useful. Although many of us here on Amazon might not be contemplating the complete take over of foreign nations, the teachings of the book can be used by ordinary people to secure their place in the workplace by organizing employees in a structure suited to your needs- "How a prince should organize his militia" (pg47), or whether a situation needs either your harshness or benevolence- "Cruelty and compassion; and whether it is better to be loved than feared, or the reverse" (pg 53).
For myself, Machiavelli's insight into "how far human affairs are governed by fortune, and how fortune can be opposed"(pg 79) was a good insight on how circumstances shape human minds. An example would be the spoiled good life of one man vs. the cohesive rise of another. A good prince does not treat both in the same manner. An admirable lesson to take from the book is the idea of creating opportunities, no matter what our circumstances are.
All in all, the book is easy to read and insightful on the responsibility of anyone creating power for themselves.
Most recent customer reviews
This book is a must read for the students of Political Science and people who want...Read more
It is a GREAT reference to re-read and utilize to remember the main ideas.Read more