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The Prince
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 23, 2003
How to rule the world when the rest of the world is ruled by wimps! Not really, but this book proves that strong, aggressive leaders are the only ones who can get things done (even look at more recent history - Winston Churchill and Neville Chamberlain are a perfect example). This book not only talks about how to reign supreme, but how to avoid scandal, etc. Perfect for the young ambitious politicians and business executives out there. This edition in particular is good too because it has several things most others don't - a lengthy introduction explaining Machiavelli's character, and some recorded history by Machiavelli (History of the Duke Valentino's Conquests, Life of Castruccio Castracani) all in all a good read, and a word of advice to those ambitious and forgetful - write commentaries after every chapter, it helps with language skills and you'll have philosophical points on paper an easier to access.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 6, 2003
Machiavelli wrote this masaterpiece for the Prince of Florence as a guide on how to attain power and, once there, how to keep it. The lessons contained therein are as true today as they were in Renaissance Italy 500 years ago. While much of what Machiavelli has to say may seem "underhanded" or even "immoral", this book has been the manual for many who were successful in reaching their political goals - one might even say (in true Machiavellian fashion) that morals have no place in politics...
Regardless of one's feelings about the messages of the book, it is an excellent commentary on the human condition, on politics, and especially on those who practice the art. Highly recommended.
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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.
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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.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 23, 2001
'The Prince' must be mandatory reading for anyone dealing with groups of people, not as a manual for action, but as a weapon against those who opt Machiavelli's operating principles, which unfortunately, is often a natural response in a power struggle.
"The Prince" has been reviewed "here" ad nauseam with mixed quality. The noise may make it difficult for readers to focus their attention on the value of this book which, after 500 years, should be self evident. Machiavelli states, "... good counsels, whencesoever they come, are born of the wisdom of the prince, and not the wisdom of the prince from good counsel." Thus, all would-be prince-readers should immerse themselves into Machiavelli's thoughts from a free Project Gutenberg version and should it prove fruitless, no further action need be done. Among various versions, the crispness and eloquence of the JK Marriott translation is without equal and ideal in the acid free paper Everyman hardcover edition, complete with ribbon bookmark. The Everyman size is perfect, it opens almost flat, its paper is rigid and crisps with page turns, providing a suitable tactility for Machivelli's revelations.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 12, 1999
A must read for any student of life who wishes understand the inner workings of power and political control. This should be on the reading list of every high school student in America. It will greatly inhance their ability to think with critically about the complex events occurring in the world today. Allowing them to categorize those events in their proper political context.
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on May 2, 2015
Interesting
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on August 30, 2015
Classic !
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 5, 1999
a cookbook of power politics. Lacks depth and it harms the reader.
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