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The Prince (Penguin Classics) Mass Market Paperback – 25 Mar 1999

4.4 out of 5 stars 264 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; 1st New edition edition (25 Mar. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140447520
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140447521
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 0.8 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (264 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 954,185 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

""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

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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Format: Paperback
In the course of my political science training, I studied at great length the modern idea of realpolitik. In that study I came to realise that it was somewhat incomplete, without the companionship of The Prince, by Niccolo Machiavelli, a Florentine governmental official in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. The Prince is an oft quoted, oft mis-quoted work, used as the philosophical underpinning for much of what is considered both pragmatic and wrong in politics today. To describe someone as being Machiavellian is to attribute to the person ruthless ambition, craftiness and merciless political tactics. Being believed to be Machiavellian is generally politically incorrect. Being Machiavellian, alas, can often be politically expedient.
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.
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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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By M. Dowden HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 14 Jan. 2016
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In case this automatically gets cross posted on this site I should point out that this review is for the kindle version of the Wisehouse Classics edition. I have read this book many times over the years and have just now re-read it once again as it is the next choice for my local book group. Although I do have a lovely hardback version of this I downloaded this particular book when I came across it whilst browsing, as it was on promo. You do have an active table of contents here, the actual book, and then a couple of extras that you don’t always get in versions of this, these are an account of Duke Valentino and his actions, and a piece on the life of Castruccio Castracani of Lucca. There is also a very good introduction here and notes as well, making this a great book to download and keep.

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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The infamous Niccolo and his famous work. I purchased this book for my Politics course at University and Machiavelli was the first thinker we studied this year, with this book being the focus.

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.
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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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