Customer Reviews


15 Reviews
5 star:
 (9)
4 star:
 (4)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Want to learn how to conquer the world?
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...
Published on Sept. 21 2001 by Cheda

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Needs a more modern translation
This Italian classic needs a modern translation to remain relavent. This particular translation was too difficult to read and I gave up.
Published 7 months ago by Amar Varma


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Want to learn how to conquer the world?, Sept. 21 2001
By 
Cheda "cmartis" (Stone Mountain, GA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Prince (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read!, March 20 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Prince (Paperback)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Convert to TV show already..., Aug. 1 2014
This review is from: The Prince (Paperback)
It is wildly hilarious that I can be one of the 15 or so reviews of this book that effectively determines the rating of this work on the worlds largest literature purchasing platform in the world. That is almost as comedic as the subject matter.

I came to Machiavelli through his comedy plays, which are hilarious and a plus for those of you into the whole hotwife and adultery humour. Sure the context of where Niccolo was when he wrote this and the surrounding political climates make this book a more fuller experience, but I feel like thats a vast subject matter that could be better explored in an HBO long arc style of TV show. The scenes with NM in prison while the Medici establish their power in the city all set against a backdrop of Italian women doing nude bathhouse scenes and the occasional war flaring up with gruesome death all around... Can you say Game of Thrones on the Mediteranian... Mmmmm Italian women....

While the content is familiar to us all today via tropes and architypical usuage of the concepts through history and even plagerised into speechs over the ages this book is mostly interesting as a study into the types of people who ascribe to it as a high work of practical philosophy. It is said that the Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau kept a copy in his bedside table and traveled with the book while leading Canada... Canada... the same Canada that is peace loving and merciful.... thats funny.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Prince, May 22 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Prince (Paperback)
The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli is a classic guide to acquiring and maintaining political power is refreshing in its directness, yet often disturbing in its cold practicality. Starkly relevant to the political upheavals of the 20th century, this calculating prescription for power remains today, nearly 500 years after it was written, a timely and startling lesson in the practice of autocratic rule.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Here is my input, May 20 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Prince (Paperback)
In general, people who look at the world in a subjective point of view will most probably disagree with Niccolo Machiavelli (NM); and in general, people who look at the world in an objective point of view will most probably agree with him. Generally, subjective individuals would disagree because of personal feelings or morals; and generally, objective individuals would agree with him because they wouldn't be influenced by personal feelings or morals. NM was an objective person, many of the points he made in The Prince was factually backed by historical evidence. NM, in his book "The Prince", did not bother explaining how things should be, NM explained how things actually are in reality and what a prince can do within the bounds of reality to obtain what he desires, be it order, land or power.

The famous quote "the ends justifies the means" basically summarizes everything within The Prince. NM wasn't the one to come up with this quote, the first person ever recorded to have said something along those lines was "Sophocles", an ancient Greek play writer who wrote about tragedies, in one of his play he wrote "The end excuses any evil", later this was quoted by NM in The Prince with slight alterations. There is no proof as to whether NM ever heard about or read about Sophocles but this quote is not from NM, although NM made it (in)famous. The real question is what does "the ends justifies the means" actually mean? The ends justifies the means is another way of saying, it's all right to lie, cheat, steal or any immoral act, so long as you succeed in the end. To most people this didn't sound right, this was not morally a just thing to say or do, it was in their words "evil" or "Machiavellian".

The other question is how did NM become synonymous with evil (Machiavellian)? It all originates in what he wrote in The Prince "The end justifies the means". The irony behind all of this was that NM himself was not Machiavellian. In his book Discourses On Livy, he wrote "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. these modes are very cruel, and enemies to every way of life, not only Christian but human; and any man whatever should flee them and wish to live in private rather than as a king with so much ruin to men. Nonetheless he who does not wish to take the first way of the good must enter into this evil one if he wishes to maintain himself." (Niccolo Machiavelli, Discourses On Livy, University of Chicago 1996, book 1 chapter 26 page 61-62). NM only encouraged Princes to act in a "Machiavellian" way because it was necessary for them to do so in order to succeed, that quote "the ends justifies the means" was not meant for ordinary citizens as proven in the quote above.

Now why did NM write The Prince and his other books? The Prince was written to appease Lorenzo de Medici to come back into politics, you can easily tell by examining The Prince and his later political works, Discourses On Livy, Florentine Histories, and The Art Of War, the main difference between his other political works and The Prince is that they are much more well structured and extensive than The Prince. Florentine Histories was written because Pope Clement tasked him with the job of writing about the history of Florence. His other books Discourses On Livy and maybe the Art Of War is open to discussion. Regarding the latter works I am with Rousseau's opinion on this, NM wrote those books to warn the people of individuals who would try to take power for themselves and also leisurely spending his time writing about politics.

Niccolo Machiavelli was a genius when it came to politics, had he been born a Prince, or had he been born to an influential family like the Medici's, I without a doubt believe he would have entered history as a great leader. Unfortunately in Machiavelli's words he was a "victim of fortune", he never really had the opportunity to exercise his talents, so he only had to write about them.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2.0 out of 5 stars Needs a more modern translation, March 5 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Prince (Paperback)
This Italian classic needs a modern translation to remain relavent. This particular translation was too difficult to read and I gave up.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How to Take Over the World in Only a Few Hours, May 12 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: The Prince (Paperback)
This is a must-read classic for anyone interested in history, business, politics or meglomania. It has inspired many of history's most powerful leaders (several of which, it has been said, slept with this book under their pillow) and with good reason. Despite it's age, Machiavelli's arguments and strategies can easily be adopted for use in today's world. Not to mention all the insight it provides for those who question history.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still relevant, Dec 1 2001
This review is from: The Prince (Paperback)
Machiavelli's brilliant text (I read the N. H. Thomson translation, in the Dover Thrift edition) is sometimes disturbing, but ultimately brilliant in its analysis as to the achievement of political power. His arguments are rational and succinct, and it amazed me how relevant all this was to today's political landscape! Who could have thought that a document nearly 500 years old would survive and remain important.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A world without an absolute, June 18 2003
By 
S. Park (Bay Area, CA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Prince (Paperback)
What makes The Prince relevant even after 500 years in my view is the flexibility of Machiavelli's view. It is not Machiavelli's theory that reality is molded into; to him, the given are the circumstances, and to those he proposes "remedies." As can be imagined, such approach entails an enumeration of possible options for the given situations, so thus structured is his treatise.
The remedy Machiavelli chooses for each given situation is relative to the set of options, and, 1) is independent of moral values (good/evil), 2) is based on the utility/effectiveness of it, and, 3) (as perhaps can be deduced by the previous two qualities) is the _logical_ choice based on common sense. The reader is required to be well versed in neither theory nor classics to appreciate Machiavelli's arguments, though being knowledgeable in the latter would definitely help understanding the dynamics of the examples he writes of.
I disagree with people who regard Machiavelli's arguments of being unethical. In other words I refute the prevalent meaning of the word "Machiavellian". I suspect, though without proof, that the word had been coined in a time when stricter moral codes (Christianity) were intact, and have been carried over to this age as convention. I do acknowledge that some of his arguments may sound politically incorrect even in our days, nevertheless think that human beings, rulers if not everyone, have been acting on the basis of his principles from time immemorial.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A 'must read' for ambitious two-faced megalomaniacs!, May 8 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: The Prince (Paperback)
Politicians usually read this text in the first political science class which they take. Actually, understanding Politics without understanding the principles in this text is an impossibility. A person who does not understand the principles of this text is too naive to understand why their leaders do what they do. Politics occurs in business, family life, and other settings, as well as government; Machiavelli's rules may be applied in all of these. Though living by these rules isn't necessary, a successful politician must act with mindfulness of their implications, or face failure. Considering the far reaching implications of Machiavelli's thought, one might wonder why elementary school children do not study "the Prince."
Many people don't have the guts to face what Machiavelli says. He presents the rules of 'hardball' politics; the only time that he mentions morality is when he describes the occasions in which a leader may need to fake it. Politicians have become so adept in following these rules that those whom they lead will often take offense at the suggestion that their leaders live by them. Read this book and understand the daily news.
"The Prince" is the quintessential text of Political Science. The Dover edition, though small, does not lack any of the origional text. It does lack the clutter of scholarly commentaries. It belongs on the shelf of anyone interested in the politics which impacts their life, but it will merely irritate the gullible
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Prince
The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli (Paperback - Sept. 21 1992)
CDN$ 3.25 CDN$ 2.75
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews