Colin Helpio's Reviews > The Prince

The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli
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's review
Dec 29, 2011

liked it

As a whole Machiavelli's masterpiece is dry. Machiavelli departs on a very systematic depiction of kingdoms and how they might be run. That is not to say I did not enjoy some elements of this book. Much of the book consisted of historical anecdotes and, thankfully, being a bit of a history buff I took interest in learning about the factionalism that plagued 13th century Italy. The one aspect that I was most drawn to in his writing was his pragmatism. One of my favorite quotes from the book was, "Nothing consumes itself so much as generosity, because while you practise it you're losing the wherewithal to go on practising it." Machiavelli also admits that he writes what men do, not what men should do. Something that would explain his violent tendencies in his view of power and government. His way of thinking struck a chord with me as I am more inclined to pragmatic understandings and less inclined to idealistic altruistic beliefs.
So to recap, I enjoyed the messages behind the writing, not necessarily reading the writing itself. To anyone out there interested in tackling the infamous Prince then go right ahead. You wont be happy reading it but once read you'll be happy you did.
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