Machiavelli’s words are as timely today as they were when he first wrote them, more than 500 years ago. One of the most famous philosophical and political tracts ever created, The Prince maintains its power, influencing people around the world and in all walks of life. This new highlighted edition makes it even easier to glean knowledge, inspiration, and practical strategies from Machiavelli’s masterwork: it features boldfaced phrases throughout that are especially relevant to today’s lifestyle. Also, each chapter concludes with a finishing thought and enough room for readers to make their own personal notes and deeper interpretations. An introduction provides details of Machiavelli’s eventful life, and examines his work in the context of the time he lived in. With The Prince as a guide, anyone can set off on the road to victory.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The idea of "reviewing" this is more than a little silly -- it's arguably the most influential non-religious work of all time -- but I thought a few comments & historical notes might still be worthwhile.
"The Prince" was essentially the first work of political realism in Western thought -- the first work of Western political philosophy that concerned itself not with the ideal government (as Plato had done in his _Republic_) but with the practical realities of getting and holding power. To describe the impact and influence of that willingness, that first notion that conventional morality might not be the best guide to success, would be as impossible a task as trying to summarize the influence of Galileo. Napoleon is rumored to have written extensive annotations to this book; Stalin allegedly kept a copy on his nightstand. Half of Shakespeare's villains (Iago, Richard III, etc.) derive their character in whole or part from this text.
There are two good reasons to read Machiavelli's classic, "The Prince." First, so you'll know what everyone is referring to when you come across the adjective "machiavellian" in news stories or other media. This adjective has become so commonplace (and overused) it is almost a cliche. Also, most who use it have never read this letter from Machiavelli, a Rennaisance courtier to his Prince (written from prison), but they insist on peppering writings with this noun turned adjective so much that as a matter of clearly understanding what is meant by the term, famiality with this brief treatise is helpful. Second, this book does describe most (not all) power situations very well. From politics to corporations to most settings where advancement, influence and control exist, Machiavelli's observations and rules apply. You will also discover that Machiavelli was not as evil as he is understood to be in popular thought. What he was doing was...
This review is of the (currently free) Kindle edition of The Prince.
As others have stated at much greater length and with far greater eloquence, this is one of the most important books of political thought and philosophy ever written, and a truly timeless classic. As such, the fact that it's available for free on Kindle makes this a terrific deal, worth every single penny and many more. All the usual conveniences of Kindle applies here: very fast to download via Whispernet, the handiness of being able to annotate and highlight important passages, bookmarking pages you want to reference again later, etc. The slickness of the Kindle format and capabilities plus the inherit worthiness of the book itself easily nets 4 stars.
It's been about forever since I last read The Prince, plus I don't really know anything about...
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