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Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Rufus Goodwin Translator. Benjamin Martinez Illustrator. Machiavelli needs to be looked at as he really was.
Hence: Can Machiavelli, who makes the following observations, be Machiavellian as we understand the disparaging term? So it is that to know the nature of a people, one need be a Prince; to know the nature of a Prince, one need to be of the people.
If a Prince is not given to vices that make him hated, it is unsusal Machiavelli needs to be looked at as he really was.
If a Prince is not given to vices that make him hated, it is unsusal for his subjects to show their affection for him. Opportunity made Moses, Cyrus, Romulus, Theseus, and others; their virtue domi-nated the opportunity, making their homelands noble and happy. Armed prophets win; the disarmed lose.
Without faith and religion, man achieves power but not glory. Prominent citizens want to command and oppress; the populace only wants to be free of oppression. A Prince needs a friendly populace; otherwise in diversity there is no hope. A Prince, who rules as a man of valor, avoids disasters, 8.
Nations based on mercenary forces will never be solid or secure. Mercenaries are dangerous because of their cowardice There are two ways to fight: one with laws, the other with force. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. More Details Original Title. National Book Award Finalist for Translation Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
To ask other readers questions about The Prince , please sign up. Niccolo Machiavelli seems confused and hence, confusing to me. Of course, he has written a lot of evil in the book, and then he writes something as quoted below.
Mary The prince is a frank exposition on the division between the idealism we profess and the reality that we live. My recollection is that Machiavelli oft …more The prince is a frank exposition on the division between the idealism we profess and the reality that we live. My recollection is that Machiavelli often summarizes that division in passages like the one you have quoted. He acknowledges the reality then "tempers" it by contrasting the more real - power - with the more ideal - glory.
Another quote along this line if I remember correctly is "We should always seek to emulate our savior, Jesus Christ, and forgive our enemies See all 28 questions about The Prince…. Lists with This Book.
Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of The Prince. Aug 20, Stephen rated it it was amazing Shelves: polly-sighs-and-pubic-policy , classics , audiobook , classics-european , philosophy , easton-press , Rather, Machiavelli was demonstrating, through reasoned analysis based on numerous historical examples, that the most effective way to govern a population is through decision-making based on the current situation without muddying up the waters with considerations of morality.
Holy snickerdoodles that's amoral!! Should such murdered and subjugated populations thank the princes for their unwaivering morality? Allowing other considerations to affect such judgements will only provide an advantage to third parties who will exploit it. Not necessarily warm and fuzzy Sesame Street thinking, but there is some serious power to the reasoning.
I wish we lived in a world in which that was not the case. Machiavelli wrote The Prince for Lorenzo de Medici, whose family ruled Florence at the time, as basically a job application.
He wanted to get in good with the de Medici family secure a place at their court. Discounting the rah rah speech at the end, the other 3 sections deal with 1 the kinds of principalities and how they are acquired; 2 the proper organization of the military and the best kind of solider to comprise it; and 3 the internal make up of a princes court i. Section 1 is interesting and fun to read, but basically worthless for anything other than historical perspective.
Machiavelli discusses territories won be conquest, inheritance or luck and talks about the various characteristics of each. Section 2 can be summarized as follows: Mercenaries well and truly SUCK and should not be used under any circumstances because their suckage will end up squandering your resources and giving squat in return.
Section 3 is the real meat of the work and contains the bulk of the advice that garnered Niccolo his much deserved reputation for suggesting the propriety of abandoning morality in governance. He speaks of the need of the Prince to be able to deceive and act against the "five" virtues of the righteous man when necessary for the betterment of his state and his people. Therefore it is unnecessary for a prince to have all the good qualities I have enumerated, but it is very necessary to appear to have them.
And I shall dare to say this also, that to have them and always to observe them is injurious, and that to appear to have them is useful; to appear merciful, faithful, humane, religious, upright, and to be so, but with a mind so framed that should you require not to be so, you may be able and know how to change to the opposite. The promise given was a necessity of the past: the word broken is a necessity of the present.
Machiavelli discusses numerous examples of sovereigns who either benefitted from following such advice or, conversely, who suffered calamity for adhering to a sense of virtue.
So much of what Machiavelli says is now an ingrained part of political thinking that it comes across as DUH when you read it. However, it was Niccolo who first put forth these concepts that have become the dogma and foundation of modern political thought. Something the famous rulers of history have always known…and practiced. In addition, I was surprised at how much fun the book was to read. Machiavelli includes dozens and dozens of brief vignettes about world history in supporting his ideas and does a great job keeping the reader engaged with colorful descriptions of past events.
The book is also chalk-full of wonderful quotes that just jumped out at me as I was reading. Here are a few that I thought were intriguing: The new ruler must determine all the injuries that he will need to inflict. He must inflict them once and for all…People should either be caressed or crushed.
If you do them minor damage they will get their revenge; but if you cripple them there is nothing they can do. If you need to injure someone, do it in such a way that you do not have to fear their vengeance. Gee, thanks Niccolo. Oh…and lest the above not make it clear, for all his amazing contributions to world-history we should not lose sight of the fact that Machiavelli, for all his astuteness, was a bit of an asshole.
I admire his work, but the man comes across as quite a scummy, conniving douche. You know, like a modern politician. View all 35 comments. Jun 23, Florencia rated it it was amazing Shelves: politics , de-jure , philosophyland , non-fiction. This is no Little Prince , that's for sure.
You must kill the fox, burn the rose, murder the businessman, if any of them tries to take control over your princedom. There's no time to be nice! There's only time to seem to be nice. At the end of the day, it is better to be feared than loved, if you can't be both.
Nevertheless, keep in mind chapter The Prince was written in the 16th century and a couple of its ideas are too contemporary.
It is a major treatise that influenced several political le This is no Little Prince , that's for sure. It is a major treatise that influenced several political leaders throughout history.
Machiavelli is widely regarded as the father of modern politics by taking away any trace of theology and morality from his works. That is something no one has ever said before. I should have read it long ago, but everything has its time, I suppose.
According to Machiavelli, the ends always justify the means—no matter how cruel, calculating or immoral those means might be. Rather, when Machiavelli wrote The Prince , his shrewd guidelines to power in the 16th century, he was an exiled statesman angling for a post in the Florentine government. It was his hope that a strong sovereign, as outlined in his writing, could return Florence to its former glory. Before his exile, Machiavelli had navigated the volatile political environment of 16th-century Italy as a statesman.
I would point out that, before Machiavelli, politics was strictly bonded with ethics, in theory if not in practice. According to an ancient tradition that goes back to Aristotle, politics is a sub-branch of ethics—ethics being defined as the moral behavior of individuals, and politics being defined as the morality of individuals in social groups or organized communities. Machiavelli was the first theorist to decisively divorce politics from ethics, and hence to give a certain autonomy to the study of politics. But here is where things start to get complicated. How so? One of the ironies surrounding Machiavelli is that there has never been anything resembling a Machiavellian school of thought.
Nicolo Machiavelli was born at Florence on 3rd May He was the second son of Bernardo di Nicolo Machiavelli, a lawyer of some repute, and of Bartolommea di Stefano Nelli, his wife. Both parents were members of the old Florentine nobility. His life falls naturally into three periods, each of which singularly enough constitutes a distinct and important era in the history of Florence.
What can you learn from Machiavelli?
You could start by dipping into a book written years ago by an out-of-pocket Italian civil servant. The quickest way, it says, is to have fortune on your side from the outset, with plenty of inherited money and a leg up through family connections. If lying and breaking your oaths help you crush the opposition, so be it. Make the people your best friend. Promise to protect their interests against predatory elites and foreigners. Fan partisan hatreds so that you alone seem to rise above them, saviour of the fatherland.
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