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The Prince Paperback – 1995

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Hackett Publishing Company (1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0872203166
  • ISBN-13: 978-0872203167
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 12.7 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 113 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (180 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #383,138 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Inside This Book

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First Sentence
To His Excellency the Florentine Ambassador to his Holiness the Pope, and my benefactor, Francesco Vettori, in Rome. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Monika on July 9 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The term "Machiavellian" is frequently used to describe ruthlessness and brutality in a leader, and most people who have read about Machiavelli but have not actually read Machiavelli's own works assume that he believed "the ends justify the means." However, this is a common misperception. His actual words are: "[. . .] in the actions of all men, and especially of princes, where there is no court of appeal, one looks at the outcome." He does not, here or anywhere else in his writing, attempt to provide any moral justification for ruthlessness, but merely says that a leader will always be judged by his people based on the end result of his actions. He was very pragmatic in his outlook on princely rule, and sought to explain the actions that would and would not be effective in gaining and maintaining the rule of a nation.
Another point of some confusion is the saying that "it is better to be feared than to be loved." Again, this is not quite what Machiavelli meant. His actual words are: "[. . .] there arises a dispute: whether it is better to be loved than feared, or the contrary. The reply is that one should like to be both the one and the other, but as it is difficult to bring them together, it is much safer to be feared than to be loved if one of the two has to be lacking." It is also noteworthy to point out that the word "fear" at the time Machiavelli was alive was less synonymous with its modern meaning than it was with the word "respect." He was saying that a prince's throne is more secure if he is feared/respected but not loved than it is if he is loved but not feared/respected. Machiavelli does not say that a prince who is feared is the moral better of one who is loved.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Cheda on Sept. 21 2001
Format: Paperback
Machiavelli wrote this book for the Medici back in a time that is suppossed to be so different from today. Yet, The Prince is as applicable as the day it was wrote- maybe more so. It's a concise, almost surgical, guidebook to world domination. Superficially, this book is written like stereo instructions with precise directions on control of your enemies, followers, and friends. But, deeply, it will force any serious reader to take stock of the lengths neccessary to attain great power. Lives are flited at like pieces on a chess board with absolutely no uneccessary concern (if they can't hurt ya, screw 'em). Why, aside from that whole learning about world domination thing, this book is such a neccessary read for anybody with a stake in daily life is because this is the book your leaders sleep with under their pillow. There hasn't been an intelligent, powerful, and influential political leader that hasn't been influenced by Machiavelli and this book. It's very important to really wrap yourself around reality in reading this book so as to open your own eyes to what people do to lead (not just dictators, facists, and imperialists, but deomcrats and republicans.). This book is Political Reality 101- you must read it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Gregory P. on March 20 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While much of the material might come off as cold, deceptive, immoral, or just unacceptable to the average person, it is truly a unique reading experience. Machiavelli unemotionally lays out a series of logical arguments on what one must do to gain and, perhaps more importantly, maintain power over a people/society/kingdom, citing multiple examples and explanations for each one. I would recommend this little book without hesitation as an interesting read on historical politics and strategy.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Rodney Ohebsion on July 16 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Prince is truly a legendary masterpiece. More than a book on political theories, it covers topics such as human nature, influence, leadership, trickery, psychology, philosophy, etc. However, it is mostly the latter chapters that are interesting and deal with these subjects. The first half or so is not that interesting of a read. So I would advise that you just skip over the first forteen or so chapters at first, and then read them later if you want.
Also, there is a fantastic summary and overview of The Prince in the book A Collection of Wisdom by Rodney Ohebsion that I highly recommend. In ten pages or so, it gives you really the essence of The Prince that is applicable to people in their lives.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Senya on May 20 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I can see from some of the reviews written here that there are many disagreements and agreements regarding what was written in The Prince. Well like everything in life, there will be people who will agree with what one says and also people who will disagree. As for myself, I agree (although not with everything) with what Machiavelli has written. I am a pragmatic individual, so if a person is writing about something reasonable/logical and backs it up with evidence then I can't help but to agree.

Now let's analyze what Machiavelli talked about? His main point of what he was trying to convey throughout the book was "The ends justifies the means", now what does this mean? what he was trying to say was that it's ok for a prince to lie, cheat, steal, be faithless and commit acts of atrocities so long as it benefits him. Now to a regular person this type of thinking is that of a psychopath/sociopath and I agree, who in their right mind would actually act in this manner? Machiavelli however only recommended princes to act in this manner as he wrote in his book Discourses on Livy "The best remedy whoever becomes prince of either a city or a state has for holding that principality is to make everything in that state anew;.... to make the rich poor, the poor rich, as did David when he became king...., not to leave anything untouched in that province, so that there is no rank, no order, no state, no wealth there that he who holds it does not it as from you; and to take as one's model Philip of Macedon, father of Alexander, who from a small king became prince of Greece with these modes. He who writes of him says that he transferred men from province to province as herdsmen transfer their herds.
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