My 5 star rating is because it's The Prince, you know, the ultimate guidebook for the aspiring tyrants or blossoming despots. I don't agree with the pMy 5 star rating is because it's The Prince, you know, the ultimate guidebook for the aspiring tyrants or blossoming despots. I don't agree with the premise of this book, and it goes against everything I believe in, but having to analyze every sentence for my renaissance and reformation class definitely lead me to exhaustively view it from so many different angles. You have to understand and study something before you can condemn it, and then I think even then you start to have respect due to the challenge it presents as an affront to your views. How can you condemn or question things if you don't fully understand them?
A toast to not watching, reading, or listening to only what you agree with so you can easily wallow in confidence with your decisions, but challenging yourself by being receptive to things you disagree with and constantly allowing yourself to evolve.
Our paper for the class was to set up an argument that someone could disagree with but wasn't a blatantly obvious opinion, but only through analysis of the book, and no outside sources... very difficult. I couldn't reference anything historical to give insight to the context of the times, or compare contemporary or even past rulers that fit the mold of being "the prince". I also couldn't draw on the popular theory that maybe Machiavelli wrote it as satire, or even that it was a means to garner favor and restore his political position by charming the Medici family (he dedicated it to the very guy who destroyed him). Most challenging paper I've ever written, but I know this book like the back of my hand now, and despite how much I disagree with it (besides hiring mercenaries, that is pretty concrete), I have to admire how shrewd and ironic it is when you really tear it apart.
So... to challenge myself I decided to argue that the book was written in favor of the prince's subjects, working in their self-interest and even as a tool of preservation of happiness for subjects, guiding the most ruthless ruler to put them first but still get his kicks as a sociopath. I don't agree, obviously, but an interesting way to view the book for sure. I was given an A and a thumbs up for a "interesting" and "challenging" argument. In a sense, it was very Machiavellian for me to twist some of his words and leave certain things out to "prove" my point, so thanks Machiavelli! Hahaha.
This is a guy who thought Henry VIII was a jerk, and would have known of him pretty well, so there is a glimmer of hope this is satire, although historians still argue about whether it was or wasn't and there is still no universally accepted conclusion. Another reason why this is a 5 star book, seriously, it's all about interpretation, and as I concluded in my paper, The Prince is ultimately really Machiavelli in the end for the way he played and continued to play everyone. Kudos, your legacy is secure....more
Love love love this book! Why it isn't the best for learning tones and pronunciation (the audio and links help best with that) it contains some prettyLove love love this book! Why it isn't the best for learning tones and pronunciation (the audio and links help best with that) it contains some pretty good starting info for getting your feet wet. I am looking more for something that will get into the writing/reading Chinese as well as speaking it though. So far I have yet to find an all in one guide for Chinese as a whole, but not having time to take a Chinese class with my other classes... this does a good job! 再见！...more
Hilarious, until some of the things you realize ACTUALLY scare you and could happen... then you start reading it a little more closer and seriously orHilarious, until some of the things you realize ACTUALLY scare you and could happen... then you start reading it a little more closer and seriously or you start smiling more at what they have included. My boyfriend got this for me for my birthday this year, after I was always talking about wanting to know "What if" type situations. "What would we do if we ran across a bear?" and other questions that scare you. You see the quiz type board game at certain stores and you smile and think its totally cute... but who needs anything like that, right? Not in this day in age.
I could agree, and my boyfriend and I at first were laughing at the illustrations, and you probably will, until a topic title grabs your eye and you read more.
At first you laugh when it tells you how to survive things like the wedding night, not being caught sleeping during class, how to escape a business meeting and how to crawl under the desk, or trying to buy a last item in a store full of shoppers on the verge of rioting. Then is has more interesting "hmmm" topics like disarming a bear trap and other actual useful things, such as being bitten by snakes, or how to scare off mountain lions, avoiding certain stampeding animals (who knows, maybe someone will ask you to safari out in Africa), dealing with an evil vending machine (properly of course! haha) that takes your money but doesn't drop your goodies, and other stuff you think actually is chit chatty type handy tips or noteworthy things to store away in your brain.
Then, you might run into one of the topics that grabs your eye and it is something you are ACTUALLY scared of... and you read on and on it is something you NEVER forget, that I can promise! These are usually from the "EXTREME" edition of the Worst Case Scenario series, and some of them are things most of us have feared at one point or another. I was up a little too late one night, hooked on reading about being buried alive and escaping the grasps of nature, and insomnia induced hysteria started having me think "Oh my, I should keep this with me at all times on road trips". Of course, I also have studied and hold onto the Zombie Survival Handbook so, just a heads up haha.
Some other topics will have you flipping right through, but being a reader nerd I have to read everything cover to cover. Being "Complete" it has more than you could definitely want, and some topics you might raise an eyebrow for them including, but then shrug because who knows, it might not help you but someone else. Sort of like those obvious signs that tell you DANGER, low ceiling or something or another, but it can't stop there it has to include a comical yellow and black sign of someone hitting their head.
As a result, combining the useful with the more trivial and funny is great and if you like buying "Complete" editions packed with all the other side books and don't want to dish out more buying all the other books (and I think at this point there are quite a few), this is a good buy. However, if you want just the serious or the funny, looking at the catalog of their separate books is probably a better idea to suit your tastes.
For any person who is anxious, likes to plan, is the handyman type and needs to know all Plan B's, this is a wonderful gift. Even if they don't read it right away, I can promise it will be something they'll keep with their tools for the handy type, their car/truck for the roady type or those who enjoy camping outdoors... or like me, the anxious type, I keep it with my xanax!...more