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4.0 out of 5 stars Well written, 22 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: The Prince (Everyman's Library Classics) (Hardcover)
Niccolo Machiavelli wrote a good book here now I can see why alot of these people study this book.Especially if you want to politically know how to handle a country. To be honest I only read this because I heard 2pac go on about it and now I know why he liked it himself.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Xmas Pressie, 7 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: The Prince (Everyman's Library Classics) (Hardcover)
I bought this book for my 21 year old son whose studying Economics and basically he didnt put it down over the whole xmas period - he loved it so I would recommend it for any mum whose looking for an intelligent stocking filler!
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10 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS EVER, 26 July 2003
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alaskadoggie (Boom (near Antwerp), BELGIUM) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Prince (Everyman's Library Classics) (Hardcover)
Here are some BASIC, UTMOST IMPORTANT and UNIVERSAL REMARKS for those that start reading Niccolò Machiavelli, be it IL PRINCIPE or his DISCORSI SOPRA LA PRIMA DECA DI TITO LIVIO, better known as "The DISCOURSES", giving a very original political comment on the first ten books of Titus Livius.
** Machiavelli's IDEA'S are NOT a close-fitting nor a rounded down system: who thinks elsehow will get into overlasting problems.
** The "Secretarius Florentinus" is NOT a SYSTEMATIC philosopher in the scholastic sense of the word: he DOESN'T WORRY whether the question or idea he describes is IN CONCORDANCE with notions or opinions written down elsewhere. Therefore lots of statements can but difficultly be brought in accordance to the former AND can even bring CRITICISM INTO TROUBLE. This is of far lesser importance while these incongruities are merely touching the general points of departure of his work, instead of the distinct parts of his arguments. You can notice this through his LOGIC (as strong as iron!!) and an IRREFUTABLE CONSEQUENCE.
** Machiavelli stays A-MORAL in Il Principe, just as nature is: not judging about good and bad, not influenced by a religion or anything else!! I know people have problems with this last "way of writing, thinking", BUT this is the most important factor that makes his work so IMMENSELY UNIVERSAL ...
There are TWO CENTRAL THEMES in this work: POLITICS and THE PROBLEMS THAT ARE CONNECTED WITH THE NOTION, THE CONCEPT "POWER".
The Prince is a flaming and militant political piece of writing in which the author is not only rationally, but also emotionally 'present' with the full power of his personality. Machiavelli's ideas are closely related to the general philosophical concept of the Renaissance. His vision too is antropocentric: the only right to exist man has, is present in man himself AND in the realisation of the self in this world.
The author is the FOUNDER of the political science(s): nobody before him had considered that politics are a single, separate science, free of any moral or religion.
In his system he isolates the technical bias (read: orientation) on what is politically useful from the moral and theological aspect of kindness and justice. He defines sharply THE PURPOSE that one wants to reach, to achieve and THEN, starting from the situation in which a (the) person stands, WEIGHS UP THE PROS AND CONS (on a rational-technical basis) OF THE MEANS THAT LEAD TO THE PURPOSE, WHICH MEANS THOSE "ARE", DOES NOT MATTER ( = AMORAL). A means of reason that is MORALLY BAD, can be GOOD FOR POLITICS and VICE VERSA ... !
Instead of talking about The Prince, it is only correct to use the word RULER: the crucial person in this work. For Macchiavelli it was Cesare BORGIA, for Nietzsche it was NAPOLEON, who REALLY slept with Il Principe (he understood the book very well).
Too many readers are misled by words as 'fortune, virtue': in the Middle-Italian (very difficult, even for specialists) the author uses the words 'FORTUNA' and 'VIRTÙ': these two words (f.e.) have NOTHING OF LITTLE IN COMMON with fortune and virtue or virtus. There are about 23 POSSIBLE TRANSLATIONS FOR THE WORD 'VIRTÙ'...
To be a good ruler is not easy. In 26 short chapters the biggest philosopher of the 16th century, Macchiavelli, describes what the ruler can and/or should do ... to stay 'the ruler', not to lose the power he/she has, in absence of moral and religion: amoral! THAT IS DIFFICULT TO MAINTAIN: JUST LOOK AROUND, LISTEN TO THE NEWS, THINK ABOUT GLOBAL PROBLEMS: EVERYWHERE YOU'LL MEET NICCOLÒ MACCHIAVELLI, WAVING WITH HIS HAND TO YOU AND TRYING TO MAKE YOU AND US FREE FROM PREJUDICES, WHISPERING WHAT WE SHOULD DO OR NOT.
I have read several editions of 'THE PRINCE', but have only one that stays with me since decades now: I read and keep on reading about our ruler forever, so my book will stay with me too.
LAST NOTE: The saying "The end justifies the means" is NOT from Macchiavelli; it already existed for a few centuries.
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The Prince (Everyman's Library Classics)
The Prince (Everyman's Library Classics) by Niccolo Machiavelli (Hardcover - 4 Jun. 1992)
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