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Showing 1-10 of 1,055 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 1,502 reviews
on May 10, 2013
Almost finished reading the book and it is just common sense, pure and simple. Common sense, however, never ruled the world and still does not. Perhaps now little more than 500 years ago but it can be argued that CAUTION is now more necessary than ever before since weapons have improved a lot as well as the means to deliver them.

Machiavelli was a real genius completely disregarding all ideologies of his time, mostly religious and seeing things as they were. Amazing to remember 20th century that got hundreds of millions killed presumably for various ideologies.

Did Hitler and Stalin read Machiavelli? I do not think so and neither did, of course, Hirohito who can be, perhaps, somewhat excused since he may have had difficulties with European languages.

Machiavelli has for some reasons rather bad reputation. As I see it is inevitable - ideology still rules in many different forms that contradict fundamentally each other.

Bad reputation, indeed. With the help of Wikipedia I found out at least two problems posteriority (way before our times) found him a bad guy.

First he was blamed for St. Bartholomew night that was, as many of us learned, a major massacre of Huguenots in France.

The second critic was Frederic of Germany (kind of) also called for some reasons the Great. With critics like that the guy needs some defense. This review, of course, will not change anything but one old Czech man living in California has to try anyway.

Is this book required reading for all courses of 'political science' on all of our places of higher education? One would hope so.

Five stars. Not many books deserve that.
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on August 8, 2014
Prior to retiring I had 35 years experience as an executive recruiter in Chicago. In all of history there have been three great job applications: Sun Tzu's, "The Art of War;" which got him and interview and then hired by the King of Wu (a story told best in the translation and exegesis by Samuel B. Griffith); The Brandenburg Concertos by J.S. Bach, which did not get him hired Christian Ludwig, Margrave of Brandenburg-Schwedt; and the Prince, written by Machiavelli and dedicated to Cosimo de Medici, who didn't hire him. So they are great not so much because they worked rather because we still read or listen to them. Kind of makes your resume look pretty pathetic, mine too. On top of that it will not teach you how to be an evil overlord, you need The Handbook of Evil Overlordship by Ming the Merciless (Introduction by Flash Gordon),
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on January 10, 2017
It is impossible to honestly rate a classic such as this book. It is full of violent recommendations for how a prince should rule and was apparently aimed at one particular prince about to assume leadership. It was considered a bit outlandish when written in an age of warring princedoms and is really outlandish in our more democratic worldwide society, but I nonetheless found much that he said quite practical in application to getting along with people if not actually governing. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that many emerging leaders who are giving the world trouble today have read Machiveli and adhere to his teachings.
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on March 1, 2017
This is more thesis than a book, keep that in mind. I think a lot of pop culture references make Machiavelli out to be more shadowy then he comes across here. Id say if anything his ideas are straightforward. Almost Gordian.
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on January 12, 2017
Timeless classic discussing the behavior and actions of an ideal leader, written during a very tumultuous time in Italy's history.
Machiavelli not only provides his own insight into what he sees as an effective "prince" in order to persuade his reader but also forces the reader to think about effectiveness of the leaders and political systems within their own time.
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on May 8, 2016
First off on Machiavelli's work itself... It's a must read for anyone who studies politics and statesmanship. It is well know that some of what Machiavelli covers is controversial, but it is the persepective of a realist. He is stating what he has observed works, and you can't help but notice as you read that certain prominent politicians today still use his approach with great success.

As to the translation, it is excellently well done. It's in very modern English, this being a quite recent translation. Be sure to read the preface and translations notes for more on this.

The book itself is quite small and could fit in your pocket.

Highly recommend!
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on January 17, 2016
A great thesis worth multiple readings. This collection of essays and letters are one man's fascinating take on politics and war. The only thing which takes away from the overall work are the appendices which try to spoon-feed conclusions as opposed to providing context for the greater work.

To be able to read and understand this book correctly, you must be prepared to spend some time understanding the politics and conflicts of the time. That being said, it's the only way to do it and be able to grasp more than surface conclusions. Being able to read and understand the work changed my understanding of not just politics, but also my interactions with different groups both socially and in my work life.
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on July 24, 2012
I have this translation by Daniel Donno in the Kindle edition. In chapter VII, at least, Donno's translation seems pointlessly inconsistent. In Machiavelli's mention of Francesco Sforza, Donno translates "acquistato" as "gained." However, when Machiavelli says, "Cesare Borgia...acquistò lo stato," Donno says, "Cesare Borgia...acquired power." Machiavelli used "stato," not "potenza." So in this little space, we already have two different translations of "acquistare" and a surprising translation of "stato" as "power." Then, just few lines later, Donno translates "stati" (plural of "stato") as "territories" instead of "states." This is a word-salad. This is an inexpensive edition, with an old, respectable translation, and an attractive cover, by some standards; however, translations like this do not seem to allow Machiavelli to speak for himself. Read, if you will, Reading Machiavelli: A Guide to Translations and Interpretations, and to Sources for Livy, Xenophon, and Aristotle, and then buy what seems best for you.
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on May 24, 2016
Machiavelli has a lot of good advice for the aspiring Prince. Some of it is cold blooded, but it is all practical and gets to the root of human nature.
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on October 17, 2014
With all of the different translations of this classic available it can be difficult to decide which one to purchase. I would highly recommend this one above the others because of the authors long experience with the subject matter. This was not his first attempt to translate the original. As I recall the first time was about thirty years earlier. The introduction to this book is some 70 pages long and is invaluable to the reader as it puts one into the time frame and perspective of the original author, Machiavelli.
I am pleased to have finally read The Prince and recommend this edition highly.
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