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The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli

The Prince (original 1513; edition 2009)

by Niccolo Machiavelli, Colin J.E. Lupton (Editor), W. K. Marriott (Translator)

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15,992135111 (3.72)238
Title:The Prince
Authors:Niccolo Machiavelli
Other authors:Colin J.E. Lupton (Editor), W. K. Marriott (Translator)
Info:Prohyptikon Publishing Inc. (2009), Paperback, 108 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli (1513)

  1. 121
    Utopia by Thomas More (2below)
    2below: Each one is fascinating in its own right but I think reading both (or reading them concurrently, as I did) provides an interesting perspective on two seemingly opposed extremes.
  2. 41
    Maxims and Reflections (Ricordi) by Francesco Guicciardini (timoroso)
    timoroso: Guicciardini, a friend and colleague of Machiavelli, wrote a book of maxims sometimes profound in themselves, other times interesting to compare to Machiavelli's opinions. The subject matter for both is essentially the same: how to act in a politically and ethically thoroughly unstable world.… (more)
  3. 53
    The Republic by Plato (caflores)
  4. 21
    On the Nature of War by Carl von Clausewitz (sirparsifal)
  5. 03
    The Enchantress of Florence by Salman Rushdie (Othemts)
  6. 115
    Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (Ciruelo, Othemts)
    Ciruelo: Really. Both are classic studies in the workings of power.

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English (110)  Spanish (6)  French (5)  Italian (3)  Finnish (2)  Danish (2)  Dutch (2)  Portuguese (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (132)
Showing 1-5 of 110 (next | show all)
  OberlinSWAP | Jul 21, 2015 |
  OberlinSWAP | Jul 21, 2015 |
I should have read this book (free for Kindle) years ago. Machiavelli's works on ancient history came up frequently in a different book I read recently, and he has been cited in several other books on my lists. Alas, I've now read this work. I find some of the oft-cited passages I hear are somewhat taken out of context.

The version I read had a brief biographical sketch of Machiavelli, which was helpful. Machiavelli is foremost a historian, so he cites examples of rulers and conflicts both from Florentine and Italian history, the current Ottoman state, Greco-Roman history, and the Bible.

He starts by looking at the failures of statecraft-- how a monarch can lose a state which he has conquered or inherited. Louis XII was one such object of failure in his aims on Italian provinces. He talks of how one holds a free Republic, you either have to destroy it or make it a tributary while encouraging development of an oligarchy there to maintain defacto control. This seems like it's played out accurately in world history.

Machiavelli's "it's better to be feared than loved" is in the context of a Prince who takes a territory who was originally not his own. There will likely be unrest, so the advice is to do some large act of cruel suppression up front to quell dissent and then do small acts of benevolence over time to keep the populace pacified. If a ruler drags out the cruelty, he will breed hatred which is the ultimate failure of a monarch. The ruler must appear to be capable of both cruelty and mercy, so that he appeals more broadly, and where possible he should have an underling be the "bad cop" enforcer. It'd be best to be both feared and loved, but you will always have to give one of those up and it's best to give up love. The great projects of history, according to Machiavelli, were done by rulers who were remembered to be mean and not kind.

It's always a bad idea to rely on foreign mercenaries for your army. Machiavelli marks the decline of Rome with the hiring of Goths to do soldiering at the cost of the Roman army. France was making the same mistake in relying on Swiss mercenaries at the time of his writing. Building fortresses are of no defense when the people hate you.

A ruler has to be "liberal" in his spending. Games and welfare for the people, benefits for the standing army. This is obviously hard to do unless you're conquering and expropriating-- otherwise you bankrupt your treasury. The Prince gains glory and reputation by accomplishing big tasks-- namely conquering territories and enriching the kingdom.

The Prince should also seem to be a man of integrity. The great rulers abandon virtue when they have to-- sometimes they have to break their word in order to protect their position or the state. This is acceptable so long as not done in such a away that the people despise him. The prince should be virtuous but also know how and when to get his hands dirty.

A Prince should have a few advisors that he listens to and that he rewards for speaking honestly and openly; he should ignore all other opinion. The Prince should always make sure his advisors and viceroys know that their positions-- their wealth, authority, and very lives-- are at the whim of the Prince so that they don't go seeking their own gain or become corrupt.

A Prince is someone who believes he has the power to shape world events, that everything isn't left to "fortune" or random chance forces of history. He yields that authority and has other men follow him.

I enjoyed this book, it's obviously a 5 star classic. ( )
  justindtapp | Jun 3, 2015 |
Bombastic at times, though quite entertaining. Still not sure when Tupac is coming back. ( )
  trilliams | May 30, 2015 |
This was mediocre and boring. I was expecting great insight and all I got was my time wasted. ( )
  jimocracy | Apr 18, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 110 (next | show all)
Kad je reč o umešnosti vladanja, ovo nezaobilazno delo bilo je i ostalo neprevaziđeno. Postalo je pojam!

Delo nastalo na velikom raskršću istorije, kada se odlučno odbacuje srednjovekovno metafizičko učenje i usvajaju empirički metodi razmišljanja, predstavlja ujedno fascinantno svedočanstvo razlaza između mita i realnosti, između vere i sumnje. Ovaj biser renesansne političke misli karakteriše realistično posmatranje političkih događaja i visoke moralne pobude koje su inspirisale autora. Vladalac je samo prividno apoteoza tiranina i kodeks pravila za ubijanje, čitav traktat o vladaocu svodi se na to da se u Italiji pronađe čovek koji će je ujediniti. Život i delo ovog poznatog firentinca obeležavaju kao teoretičara o osnivanju i održavanju država.
added by Sensei-CRS | editknjigainfo.com

» Add other authors (111 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Machiavelli, Niccolòprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Aron, RaymondForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bondanella, PeterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bull, George AnthonyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Constantine, PeterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cullen, PatrickNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ennis, MichaelForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Freyer, HansIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gauss, ChristianIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gohory, JacquesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Inglese, GiorgioEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mansfield, Harvey C.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mansfield, Harvey C.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marriott, W. K.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Merian-Genast, ErnstTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Musa, MarkTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Otten, J.F.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rieu, E. V.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Skinner, QuentinEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
TitianCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Niccolo Machiavelli to Lorenzo the Magnificent, Son of Piero di Medici
First words
All the states, all the dominions under whose authority men have lived in the past and live now have been and are either republics or principalities.
It is customary for those who wish to gain the favour of a prince to endeavour to do so by offering him gifts of those things which they hold most precious, or in which they know him to take especial delight.
He who blinded by ambition, raises himself to a position whence he cannot mount higher, must thereafter fall with the greatest loss.
If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared.
War cannot be avoided; it can only be postponed to the other's advantage.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Disambiguation notice
This is the main work for The Prince. It should not be combined with any abridgement, adaptation, study guide, etc.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0553212788, Mass Market Paperback)

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

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:30 -0400)

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Contents: The prince -- Discourses upon the first ten books of Titus Lily -- Chronology -- Notes to The Prince -- Notes to the discourses.

(summary from another edition)

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5 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

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