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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 9 months ago by Amar Varma


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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.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read!, March 20 2011
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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.
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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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Not as men SHOULD act, but as they DO act, Aug. 13 2003
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Machiavelli's immortal treatise on monarchical government, while not necessarily applicable in the strictest of senses today, nevertheless contains many valuable insights pertinent to the modern leader. Machiavelli has gotten a bad rap, and not all of it undeserved, but his work nevertheless contains some extremely valuable information. The likes of Hitler, Napoleon, and Mussolini have counted themselves among Machiavelli's disciples, and the term "Machiavellian" often is synonymous with deceit and evil.
So what is the use of Machiavelli today? After all, the book was written over 400 years ago, in the age of feudalism. Despite its age, Machiavelli's advice is very useful today. One of his best qualities is that he sees people for what they are, not what they should be. Where other philosophers concern themselves with how men should act (in an ideal situation), Machiavelli realizes that, in reality, men will not act as they should, and so his focus is on how men actually do act. If he has an overall pessimistic view of mankind, he is not entirely unjustified.
Of course, not all of Machiavelli's ideas are acceptable in today's world. Machiavelli asserts that the populous is weak, stupid, and easily contented. And though he believes popular support to be extremely important, he believes so only because this condition adds to the power of the monarchy. In today's world of democracy, this doesn't really fit. And his admonitions that the prince use hypocrisy and deceit whenever convenient are a bit hard to swallow. Still, if you REALLY understand what he's saying, it becomes clear that Machiavelli, while condoning these and other vices, says such unlawful practices should be indulged in ONLY when it will benefit the state. In his eyes, the end should justify the means.
In short, Machiavelli's work is a masterpiece of human thinking. We still have much to learn from this old thinker, and do ourselves a great disservice by dismissing his ideas as evil (in fact, his condoning of deceit is exaggerated to some extent). Machiavelli's methods are certainly dated and cruel in many respects, but many of his basic thoughts are very useful in today's world.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Machiavelli is a genius, Nov. 6 2003
I dont usually do book reviews, mostly music, but after reading The Prince, I just had to write a review. I first heard of this book a long time ago, when I was studying the Renaissance. Of course, you cannot study it without coming across Florence, and in Florence you will find Machiavelli.
After hearing what it was, a dark look on politics, on life, and on man, I picked it up and gave it a read. This, of course, isn't for everyone. You'll have a lot of trouble understanding it if you aren't familiar with the politics of the time, especially in Florence. I found myself looking in the dictionary once in a while anyway, even though I pride myself of being above average when it comes to knowlege of such things.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Prince, May 22 2013
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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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Here is my input, May 20 2012
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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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Honestly...Worth The Short Time It Takes To Read, May 3 2004
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Just pick it up somewhere and read it. It is fascinating. Machiavelli has some insightful things to say about war and human nature. Totally worth it. It's short, easy to read, and thoroughly enjoyable. I honestly would recommend it to anyone.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Needs a more modern translation, March 5 2014
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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.
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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.
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The Prince
The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli (Paperback - Sept. 21 1992)
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