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The Prince (Dover Thrift Editions) [Kindle Edition]

Niccolò Machiavelli
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)

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Book Description

As a young Florentine envoy to the courts of France and the Italian principalities, Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527) was able to observe firsthand the lives of people strongly united under one powerful ruler. His fascination with that political rarity and his intense desire to see the Medici family assume a similar role in Italy provided the foundation for his "primer for princes." In this classic guide to acquiring and maintaining political power, Machiavelli used a rational approach to advise prospective rulers, developing logical arguments and alternatives for a number of potential problems, among them governing hereditary monarchies, dealing with colonies and the treatment of conquered peoples. Refreshing in its directness, yet often disturbing in its cold practicality, The Prince sets down a frighteningly pragmatic formula for political fortune. 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 that continues to be much read and studied by students, scholars and general readers as well.

Product Description


If one were to assign a single edition of Machiavelli's works, this most certainly would be it (John. P. McCormick, Professor Of Political Science, University Of Chicago )

Everyone should have a copy of Machiavelli's The Prince, whose original purpose may have been to counsel Renaissance rulers in the art of statecraft but is still applicable to and, indeed, acted on by modern politicians and power-brokers (Guardian )

A 16th Century handbook of wily political thinking that tells you how to get the upper hand in every conceivable situation (Mail on Sunday )

How amazing, that anyone's ideas should be controversial after five centuries. Machiavelli expressed a certain attitude to power - it's a good thing, and the problem is how to get and keep it - so well that he has never become out dated (Guardian )

One of most influential books ever (Mirror )

Book Description

A refreshingly accessible new translation of this timely and dynamic classic work about the corrupting effects of power


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 516 KB
  • Print Length: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; Reprint edition (30 Mar. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008TVLPI8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #156,960 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527) was a Florentine statesman who was later forced out of public life. He then devoted himself to studying and writing political philosophy, history, fiction, and drama.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Annoying 21 Dec. 2012
By Kevkev
Format:Kindle Edition
The Prince is The Prince, and it's a book well worth reading, but you already knew that. What you didn't know from looking at the description is a third of this edition is an excerpt of a book written by the author of the introduction. I bought The Prince to read The Prince, not to read what boils down to a massive advertisement.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 3 Jun. 2013
By TerryR
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is NOT, as you may think, a translated copy of Machiavelli's work, but a subjective analysis of it. Although that analysis is pretty good and worth reading, the book turned out not to be what I was looking for.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Uncovering the art of politics 12 May 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Niccolo Machiavelli's book was written in the mid 16th century; this is a later translation from the 17th century converted into ebook format. There are a couple of issues with the format on the Kindle; some missing page breaks, and some odd sentence breaks. The ebook version also includes a couple of additional items written by Machiavelli later in his life.

"The Prince" of the title is merely a generic label for a leader, rather than a given level of nobility. The main book is a study of the concept of leadership, and particularly the application of politics within a nation or state. It is based upon a very careful study of the leaders of the time, especially within Italy and from the classical period of Greece and Rome. Although written some 500 years ago, most of the precepts can be seen to have been relevant throughout the intervening period and in many ways are still pertinent today.

In fact some of the material could equally be applied within large organisations; examine the biographies of some of the most famous business leaders and entrepeneurs, and you will see many of the factors that enabled them to rise up being the same that Machiavelli identified as being desirable in a great leader. It does perhaps portray a certain level of cynicism and certainly indicates the ruthlessness that is required to become a political figure; and it is this that has made the name of Machiavelli synonymous with political intrigue.

In many ways, this book is to political governance, what Sun-Tzu's "Art of War" was to the concept of military leadership. Careful study will reveal a lot of valuable advice and information; and although not the easiest book to read, the end result is well worth the effort.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars All Princes are not equal 29 Jan. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm not here to review the subject matter, there are enough of those on here already.

Make sure you get the right translation though. The cheaper ones I guess are old translations that are no longer in copyright, and the language really obscures the meaning in the text. If you don't want to be re-reading the same enormous sentences over and over again, stump up the extra few quid and plump for a more modern interpretation.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly modern and readable. 18 Nov. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
"The Prince" is a sort of handbook for those who aspire to absolute power and is full of advice on how to obtain it and, more importantly, on how to hang on to it! The book establishes the notion of the perfect ruler (the eponymous "prince") and describes by a series of maxims how such a state of perfection might be achieved.

His precepts for aspirant rulers are justified by examples and anecdotes not only from antiquity but also from his own time to demonstrate the successful application of his axioms. He also adduces plenty of anecdotes and examples to illustrate the folly of those who have failed to heed the dictums he identifies.

This might suggest that "The Prince" is rather dry and academic but it is rescued from this by the clarity of Machiavelli's thought and his literary skill: also by the wonderful stories he presents to demonstrate the virtues and follies of the powerful individuals who have either heeded or disregarded the fundamental principles he has discovered. These stories provide profound insights into human nature, particularly in its rapacious aspects. However, it must be stressed that the circumstances Machiavelli describes can be extrapolated to almost any genre or context and are not confined to the political.
It was first published in 1532, five years after Machiavelli's death, yet it is surprisingly modern and readable.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Seminal Work in European History 13 Jan. 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Many courses in modern European History begin with this work, and understandably so. It is really hard to tell sometimes whether Machiavelli was writing a manual for the amoral or a satire of the same. It has been read as both, and so much of our history seems to derive from the Machiavellian principles in this book. If nothing else, it tells us a good deal about the politics of Italy as it emerged into the modern period.

I read this as an interested reader, not to study it. Thus I have no great insights into the work, but anoyone interested in European history should probably take a look.

And this particular Kindle edition is free, which is as good as it gets.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The Prince is not a long book but the account of politics in Florence and the other Italian renaissances states is very detailed and the endless cast of characters makes it difficult to follow at times. The writing is pretty turgid at times. The political statecraft outlined in the Prince feels less revelatory than it should; perhaps we are too used to the term 'Machiavellian' being applied to even the most mediocre political plotters, that there was little in the book that read like the work of a master strategist. Overall a slight disappointment
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