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The Prince Paperback – May 4 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 114 pages
  • Publisher: Createspace (May 4 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1441412891
  • ISBN-13: 978-1441412898
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 0.7 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (140 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,039,752 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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When Lorenzo de' Medici seized control of the Florentine Republic in 1512, he summarily fired the Secretary to the Second Chancery of the Signoria and set in motion a fundamental change in the way we think about politics. The person who held the aforementioned office with the tongue-twisting title was none other than Niccolò Machiavelli, who, suddenly finding himself out of a job after 14 years of patriotic service, followed the career trajectory of many modern politicians into punditry. Unable to become an on-air political analyst for a television network, he only wrote a book. But what a book The Prince is. Its essential contribution to modern political thought lies in Machiavelli's assertion of the then revolutionary idea that theological and moral imperatives have no place in the political arena. "It must be understood," Machiavelli avers, "that a prince ... cannot observe all of those virtues for which men are reputed good, because it is often necessary to act against mercy, against faith, against humanity, against frankness, against religion, in order to preserve the state." With just a little imagination, readers can discern parallels between a 16th-century principality and a 20th-century presidency. --Tim Hogan --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

Review

“[Machiavelli] can still engage our attention with remarkable immediacy, and this cannot be explained solely by the appeal of his ironic observations on human behaviour. Perhaps the most important thing is the way he can compel us to reflect on our own priorities and the reasoning behind them; it is this intrusion into our own defenses that makes reading him an intriguing experience. As a scientific exponent of the political art Machiavelli may have had few followers; it is as a provocative rhetorician that he has had his real impact on history.” –from the Introduction by Dominic Baker-Smith --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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ALL STATES and dominions which hold or have held sway over mankind are either republics or monarchies. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

7 of 7 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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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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Gaius Nymphidius Vitellius on Feb. 23 2003
Format: Hardcover
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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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Alexander Uhi on May 8 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Perhaps it is fair to call Nicollo Machiavelli a teacher of the tyrants. After all, this early sixteenth century book has long served as a reference guide to the likes of Hitler and Mussolini, despots who ruled with an iron fist and unmitigated cruelty. Yet, certain aspects of Machiavelli's text might also serve in some capacity to aid a free society as well.
Written by Niccolo Machiavelli (a Florentine nobleman of the early sixteenth century) to a local ruler, "The Prince" is a short text of just over 100 pages which reads very much like a personal letter. The text was sent as a gift by Machiavelli with an explanation that he could not afford to purchase a gift and had written this instead. It is, at the very least, likely that the gift was meant to find the author a place in the royals hearts and obtain Machiavelli some recognition.
"The Prince" is simply a guide. It instructs the reader on becoming a ruler and in the maintenance of power. From launching attacks on fellow kingdoms to conducting oneself in public, this book covers it all. Machiavelli dictates that a ruler must be affable, yet must stand above others at all times. He must know how to please both his guards and his peasants. He must form alliances and know when to break them. He must never let down his guard.
More controversial are the many cruel "necessities" dictated by Machiavelli. Machiavelli unabashedly declares that when taking over (deposing) or otherwise unseating a leader you must kill all of his/her bloodline. There must be no one left to vie for the throne. And that is one of many of the mandates that has fixed him forever with a terrible reputation. One nickname for Satan himself is Ol' Nick, probably taken from the Niccolo in Machiavelli's name.
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