The Prince (Classics) Mass Market Paperback – 29 Jan 1970
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""Connell provides by far the best historical introduction to a student text of The Prince "that I have ever seen. It is concise, clear, and remarkably straight-forward given the complexity of the issues it treats, including not only the precise context of the work's composition, but also some very helpful description of its reception. As a whole, in my view, this edition of The Prince "is the very best available in English, and I look forward to using it in my classes."
"[Machiavelli] can still engage our attention with remarkable immediacy, and this cannot be explained solely by the appeal of his ironic observations on human behaviour. Perhaps the most important thing is the way he can compel us to reflect on our own priorities and the reasoning behind them; it is this intrusion into our own defenses that makes reading him an intriguing experience. As a scientific exponent of the political art Machiavelli may have had few followers; it is as a provocative rhetorician that he has had his real impact on history." -from the Introduction by Dominic Baker-Smith
[Machiavelli] can still engage our attention with remarkable immediacy, and this cannot be explained solely by the appeal of his ironic observations on human behaviour. Perhaps the most important thing is the way he can compel us to reflect on our own priorities and the reasoning behind them; it is this intrusion into our own defenses that makes reading him an intriguing experience. As a scientific exponent of the political art Machiavelli may have had few followers; it is as a provocative rhetorician that he has had his real impact on history. from the Introduction by Dominic Baker-Smith" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) was appointed secretary and Second Chancellor to the Florentine Republic in 1498. He was dismissed from his post in 1512 and forced to withdraw from public life, after which time he wrote THE PRINCE, a handbook for rulers. GEORGE BULL translated widely from the Italian, including for Penguin Classics including Cellini's 'Autobiography' and Vasari's 'Lives of the Artists'. ANTHONY GRAFTON teaches European intellectual history at Princeton University. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Machiavelli based his work in The Prince upon his basic understanding of human nature. He held that people are motivated by fear and envy, by novelty, by desire for wealth, power and security, and by a hatred of restriction. In the Italy in which he was writing, democracy was an un-implemented Greek philosophical idea, not a political structure with a history of success; thus, one person's power usually involved the limitation of another person's power in an autocratic way.
Machiavelli did not see this as a permanent or natural state of being -- in fact, he felt that, during his age, human nature had been corrupted and reduced from a loftier nobility achieved during the golden ages of Greece and Rome. He decided that it was the corrupting influence of Christianity that had reduced human nature, by its exaltation of meekness, humility, and otherworldliness.Read more ›
Over the years Machiavelli’s surname has been used as something rather negative, but to be honest it wasn’t always like that, and if you read this and think about it this does not come across. Machiavelli lived in turbulent times, not only just in Italy but throughout Europe, meaning that he had a lot to draw on when writing this short book of political philosophy. He had an acute eye for detail and an understanding of history, so he could see the same mistakes being made time and time again. He also knew human nature, and let’s face it whatever new technologies and ideas we come up with we as such will never change.
We see and hear politicians going on about ideals and what they are going to do for our betterment, but this will always fall short due to reality, and despite this still going on today Machiavelli made no bones in his discourses as he tells us about the real world, real problems and real ways to go about trying to find an answer.Read more ›
Remember, the "Prince" is someone who holds a position of power, or is destined to or wishes to hold a position of power, and the book is the manifesto that that individual must adhere to in order to attain and sustain power.
You can understand why The Prince continues to take people by surprise, but with an open mind you can understand where Machiavelli is coming from, although most people would disagree with the slightly barbaric tone that runs throughout.
A vital book to own for any political thinker, student or someone who simply holds an interest in political theory and history or even the history of Italy.
"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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very tedious book by a very tedious man lol regret starting reading this and feel you would have to really read between the lines and force some meaning out of it other than what... Read morePublished 2 days ago by William
A very dry writing style and very repetitive,I didn't know what to expect and I was disappointed.
I got half way through and gave up as I was bored.
I bought this because I like Listening to 2pac haha, should be a good book and I can't wait to get started, had a quick look through it and its full of big words I'm not familiar... Read morePublished 1 month ago by James
The context setting intro got me hooked as it provided the landscape of the time. The rest, well you can read the other reviews. Read morePublished 1 month ago by S. Mulla
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