- Paperback: 108 pages
- Publisher: Prohyptikon Publishing Inc. (20 Mar. 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0981224415
- ISBN-13: 978-0981224411
- Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 0.7 x 20.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 497 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 174,611 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Prince (Prohyptikon Value Classics) Paperback – 20 Mar 2009
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The first 38 pages are a useful authors introduction, but it is the 16 pages of the Translators note that are of most benefit. Both explain how Machiavelli has been much maligned and misinterpreted in the past –I agree. Most conceptions of Machiavelli stem from ‘anti-Catholic’ sentiment as in Gentillet’ ‘Discours contre Machiavel’ and the numerous renaissance plays that were becoming popular entertainment. The translator tries to get an understanding of the period and attempts to translate words according to their ‘olde worlde’ meaning; rather than their modern usage.
Machiavelli’ uses large amounts of punctuation and a fractured writing style that modern writers often cannot or do not understand. It’s a style that I was brought up with and doesn’t cause me much of a problem. This version uses a more flowing style that is easy to read whilst still maintaining the message that Niccolo was trying to convey and also picks up on the ribald ’language’ of the day.
Essentially this is a modern easy read that maintains, IMHO, one of the best attempted translations or modern renderings of a much misunderstood work.
"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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