on April 14, 2002
If you're reading this review, I'll assume you've come to realize how important this book is. Controversial, definitely, but worth reading. This particular edition is really nice. I haven't seen a book this cheap in a long time. For those who don't know, "The Prince" is a manuscipt written by Machiavelli to the Medici (I think) family in some province of Italy. It outlines the ways in which a ruler can maintain power by analyzing the actions of past rulers. It's short enough to keep you interested, and important enough to warrant buying this book.
Although the stated scope of the book (how rulers can maintain their position) is relatively narrow, the lessons of the book apply to a wide variety of situations. From business to politics, this book contains many of the essential lessons to succeed with power. While nobody should expect to learn how to stay in power after reading this book (this, of course, requires a great deal of experience), one can reasonably expect a good deal of insight into the way people think.
My *single* complaint about the book is that it is sometimes too dense to read casually. While not classifiable as an "intense" read, it falls somewhere between a historical textbook and an instruction manual.
on April 7, 2004
This classic treatise is the most famous work on the subject of political power, and with good cause. Machiavelli outlines the basic principles of how to properly govern a kingdom, from whether it is better to fight with native troops (he argues that it is better to lose with your own soldiers than with with mercenaries) to whether it is better to be loved or feared (he clearly sides with the latter). Despite its somewhat negative connotations, the author goes to great lengths to outline why he comes to the conclusions he does. Taken in their proper context, Machiavelli's positions are, I believe, much less inflamatory than their stereo-types. One also must considers the time and circumstances in which the book was written.
In conclusion, this book is a must-read for anyone who considers themselves to be a reader of classics. I picked up this edition in the airport for 4 dollars...how could you go wrong? Anyone would be proud to place this on his or her bookshelf.