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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read!
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...
Published on March 20 2011 by Gregory P.

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 4 months ago by Amar Varma


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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 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Prince, May 22 2013
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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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2.0 out of 5 stars Needs a more modern translation, March 5 2014
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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 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.
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4.0 out of 5 stars How to suppress a populace in 10 easy lessons...., Oct. 11 2011
By 
Ronald W. Maron "pilgrim" (Nova Scotia) - See all my reviews
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Liberalists, humanists and populists beware! This is the how-to-manual that the political right-wing has been reading and memorizing since the early 1500s. In what some persons may claim to be an objective manner, Machiavelli clearly defines the intricate steps that are necessary for a Prince (aka Dictator) to not only seize control of a country, but to firmly maintain that control and then to finally expand his/her holdings by invading and conquering neighboring lands. I personally view this approach as being nothing more than a self-guided tour of beligerent control, underhanded manipulation and elitist greed.

There is nothing in this text that reinforces that 'all men are created equal' nor that the social structure of government is to be for all persons and not the few who view themselves as its ruling-elite. Machiavelli elevates political leaders to an almost god-like existence and views them as separate from, and not part of, the populace they are attempting to dominate. While this book is, and always will be, an indictment on dictatorial and monastic rule, I strongly urge everyone to read it. We, as a voting public, have a tendency to become lax and overlook some of the control issues that are shown by our existing elected officials. This book serves as a guidepost to what may occur if we ignore the present and questionable realities for too long and do nothing to halt them.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A classic, March 3 2009
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This review is from: The Prince (Paperback)
The Prince is a timeless classic. Loses one-star because this edition is very bare bones, lacking any of the analysis (historical or other wise) that other versions come with.
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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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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A world without an absolute, June 18 2003
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S. Park (Bay Area, CA) - See all my reviews
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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.
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The Prince
The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli (Paperback - Sept. 21 1992)
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