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The Portable Machiavelli

4.07  ·  Rating Details  ·  430 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
In the four and a half centuries since Machiavelli’s death, no single and unanimously accepted interpretation of his ideas has succeeded in imposing itself upon the lively debate over the meaning of his works. Yet there has never been any doubt about the fundamental importance of Machiavelli’s contribution to Western political theory.The Portable Machiavelli brings togethe ...more
Paperback, Viking Portable Library #92, 574 pages
Published January 25th 1979 by Penguin Classics
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May 21, 2013 Bruce rated it really liked it
I have read Machiavelli’s most widely known work, The Prince, any number of times, and I always enjoy returning to this commonly misunderstood political writer, a writer subject to having quotations lifted in isolation and having them used to mischaracterize his opinions and intent. On the present occasion I read The Portable Machiavelli (containing The Prince and many other of Machiavelli’s writings) at the same time that I was enjoying the Teaching Company’s Great Courses series on Machiavelli ...more
Apr 28, 2008 Levi rated it it was amazing
This is a critical piece in anyones education. Politics and war are fought by those who believe in it. If you don't you will still need to understand them--just look at the world around you. If you read it with an open mind you might just learn something important about life though I wouldn't suggest assimilating the entirety of his hardliner approach.

I want it to be know that yes, I am a need. I read this for fun before I even dreamed of taking Political Theory.
Aug 15, 2008 Mark rated it liked it
Niccolo' Machiavelli seemed to have had some inside contacts with the politico of the 1500's. Because of these contacts, The Prince reads like a discussion between an advisor and a politician. In fact, Machiavelli wrote this part of the larger work, Discourses, to one Lorenzo de' Medici, and later changed it to one Duke of Urbino. I list this out only to remind anyone who reads this that Machiavelli's infamous reputation as being cruel and heartless is unfounded. I believe that Machiavelli was g ...more
Gabriel Valjan
Oct 21, 2013 Gabriel Valjan rated it really liked it
The year 2013 marks both the celebration of Italian culture in America and the five-hundred-year anniversary of Niccolò Machiavelli's The Prince. Written in 1513, but not published in its entirety until 1532, five years after Machiavelli's death, the author's heady advice has turned his last name into a pejorative adjective, synonymous with deceit, deception, ruthless manipulation, and state-sponsored violence. Irony number one: the man for whom Machiavelli penned the advice for died before he c ...more
May 10, 2012 Mike rated it really liked it
A wide variety of insightful writings by one of the foremost thinkers of his age, The Portable Machiavelli demonstrates the author's divergent interests and talents. Known largely for The Prince, an examination of how a ruler should best control his territory and his people, Machaivelli the playwright also deserves credit, though as a military tactician and practitioner he appears to have fallen amusingly short.
Jan 01, 2009 Carolyn rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: um. Yes!
Shelves: non-fiction
better than most self help books. not entirely practical, but if you're climbing the corporate ladder, do digest some machiavelli before the board meeting. it might help your strategy.
Apr 14, 2008 Julie rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: History buffs or politicos
Not an enjoyable read by any means, but its historically important so I guess I'll give it a 5
Oct 22, 2010 Neal rated it liked it
I read "The Mandrake" from this collection, a play by Machiavelli.
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  • The Discourses & Other Early Political Writings (Texts in the History of Political Thought)
  • On the Citizen
  • Niccolò's Smile: A Biography of Machiavelli
  • Political Writings (Texts in the History of Political Thought)
  • The Political Writings of St. Augustine
  • Means Without End: Notes on Politics
  • History of Political Philosophy
  • Machiavelli in Hell
  • Legitimation Crisis
  • The Rights of War and Peace: In Three Volumes
  • The Machiavellian Moment: Florentine Political Thought and the Atlantic Republican Tradition
  • The Portable Voltaire
  • Disagreement: Politics and Philosophy
  • The Limits of State Action
  • Moral Luck: Philosophical Papers 1973-1980
  • The Fable of the Bees and Other Writings
  • The Soul of the Marionette: A Short Inquiry into Human Freedom
  • The Spirit of the Laws (Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought)
Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli was an Italian political philosopher, musician, poet, and romantic comedic playwright. He is a figure of the Italian Renaissance and a central figure of its political component, most widely known for his treatises on realist political theory (The Prince) on the one hand and republicanism (Discourses on Livy) on the other.
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