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The Prince

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3.83  ·  Rating details ·  295,695 ratings  ·  10,221 reviews
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? 1. 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. 2. If a Prince is not given to vices that make him hated, it is unsusal ...more
Paperback, 140 pages
Published June 1st 2003 by Dante University of America Press (first published 1531)
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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…moreThe 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 ... but if we do, we will be killed." (less)

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Stephen
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That single statement boys and girls is the crux at the heart of the matter resting at the bottom-line of Niccolo Machiavelli’s world-changing classic on the defining use of realpolitik in governance and foreign policy. Despite popular perception, Machiavelli, whose name has often been used as a synonym for political ASSHATery, was not arguing that it’s better to be immoral, cruel and evil than to be moral, just and good. Rather, Machiavelli was demonstrating, through reasoned analysis based
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Florencia
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 23.

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
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Ahmad Sharabiani
Il Principe = The Prince, Niccolò Machiavelli

The Prince is a 16th-century political treatise by the Italian diplomat and political theorist Niccolò Machiavelli.

Machiavelli said that The Prince would be about princedoms, mentioning that he has written about republics elsewhere, but in fact he mixes discussion of republics into this in many places, effectively treating republics as a type of princedom also, and one with many strengths.

More importantly, and less traditionally, he distinguishes ne
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Il Principe = The Prince, Niccolò Machiavelli

The Prince is a 16th-century political treatise by the Italian diplomat and political theorist Niccolò Machiavelli. From correspondence a version appears to have been distributed in 1513. However, the printed version was not published until 1532, five years after Machiavelli's death.

Machiavelli says that The Prince would be about princedoms, mentioning that he has written about republics elsewhere (a reference to the Discourses on Livy), but in fact
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Alex
I'm weirdly pleased that The Prince lives up to its reputation: it is indeed Machiavellian. Here's his advice on conquering self-governing states (i.e. democracies): "The only way to hold on to such a state is to reduce it to rubble." Well then.

I'd like to say that any guy whose last name becomes a synonym for evil is a badass, but Machiavelli wasn't; he was a failed minor diplomat who wrote this in a failed attempt to get reemployed. Stupid attempt, too; anyone who hired him would be advertisin
...more
Henry Avila
Dec 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Italy in the early 1500's was a sad, dispirited land of constant wars, deaths, destruction, political betrayals, schemes of conquest by greedy aristocrats, trying to enlarge their petty Italian states, invasion by ruthless, foreign troops, from France, Spain, the Swiss, rulers being overthrown and killed, armies continuously marching, towns sacked, fires blazing, black smoke poring into the sky , mercenary soldiers, slaughtering the innocent, pestilence spreading, only the wise, the strong and t ...more
Sidharth Vardhan


I don't know how come I never reviewed this one but recently I was visiting this friend of mine in south India, Pramod (yes, the one from Goodreads), when he showed me this not-so-popular smaller piece, allegedly written by the author in his last days, 'Le Gente' and never published - for common people about how they can succeed in social life using diplomacy.

There were only twenty copies of same written in 19th century, of which Pramod's was one. Since he is a sort of book-worshipper, he won't
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Paul
Dec 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In this book, Machiavelli makes his purpose clear: how to get power and keep it.

No happiness. No warm and fuzzy pats on the back. Definitely no hugs. No words of encouragement. Definitely nothing about being nice.

Being nice, in politics, in war, in struggles for power, often ends with one person winning and the other person being in prison, disgraced, exiled, or dead.

That was the context in which Machiavelli wrote this book. Italy at the time was a collection of warring states, not united. On
...more
Michelle
Jun 29, 2019 rated it did not like it
So, it seems there has been a bit of a mix up.

I had no idea what this was about, I just assumed I was going to read a fairly raucous fictional story about a Prince. So you can imagine my shock when I read the opening chapter.

I feel bad for giving this a one star as this is entirely my fault however it meets all the criteria, I had to drag myself through, I understood little and the only satisfaction I received was reaching the end.

Sorry Machiavelli.
Petra is in abeyance on hiatus, just not here much
How to run things and hopefully remain popular but not give a monkey's if they hate you. How to instil enough fear in people that they at least show respect to your face.

Plenty of good lessons here for a politician, but adaptable by anyone if you don't mind being thought evil by your nearest and dearest. And I don't.
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Jennifer (JC-S)
Sep 01, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
A young colleague of mine recently said ‘management is easy’. I smiled enigmatically and considered buying him a copy of ‘The Prince’ but I fear it would be wasted. I am now on my third copy of this book which, alas, I can only read in English. The George Bull translation (as reprinted in 1995) is the version I currently refer to.

I first read this book when studying economic history at high school in the second half of the last century. I was intrigued by Machiavelli’s advice even though I had l
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 ⚔Irunía⚔
The promise given was a necessity of the past: the word broken is a necessity of the present.


No, you don't understand.

It is double pleasure to deceive the deceiver.


I need someone to write a romance book about a hero that would be the exact replica of Niccolò Machiavelli.

Never attempt to win by force what can be won by deception.


Insightful, witty, manipulative, unscrupulous, ruthless, brilliant man of my dreams who'd rather overthrow the status quo than try to
...more
Jan-Maat
I think this was the first time that I read this book from cover to cover rather than dipping in and out of it, I feel that it's reputation is bleaker than it's bite, it seems no more cynical than observing to oneself, when an American political figure says something, that there is an election coming up, and it is far less cynical, or brutally practical than The Memoirs of Philippe de Commynes in my opinion.

It stands out perhaps on two grounds, one it completely avoids conventional Christian mor
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Piyangie
The Prince is a political treatise written by a Florentine diplomat, Niccolo Machiavelli. In a time of foreign invasion and rule of the different parts of Italy, Machiavelli wrote this treatise and dedicated it to Lorenzo di Piero de' Medici of the Medici family in the hope that one strong ruler will emerge from that powerful house and drive the foreign rulers away from Italy.

This treatise is mainly concerned with the acquisition and preservation of power. It contains Machiavelli's detailed a
...more
Simon Clark
Jan 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
'We can say that cruelty is used well... when it is employed once for all, and one's safety depends on it, and then it is not persisted in but as far as possible turned to the good of one's subjects.'

The Prince is unlike anything I've read before. In many ways it feels like a truly evil book. Stalin, for example, kept an annotated copy of it. It reads as the blueprint for tyrants, despots, and politicians around the world - a guide to how the world of the powerful and the powerless truly works.
...more
Ian
I decided it was time to find out for myself what Machiavelli was about. After all, he is one of a small group of writers who have lent their names to an adjective in the English language (Dickens, Orwell and Kafka are others I can think of).

“The Prince” is a short tract, and whilst it had its moments, I found much of it quite dull. I hadn’t expected that. In the edition I read, the translator says in a foreword that “my aim has been to achieve at all costs an exact literal rendering of the orig
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Liz Janet
This book is the perfect representation between the best and the worst of House Slytherin in the Harry Potter verse, and that is how I presented it to my class. I got an A on the paper, so it does make sense.
“Everyone sees what you appear to be, few experience what you really are.” Yes Machiavelli, at least you make some logical sense.

Here is my reasoning about Slytherin and The Prince: Slytherin House, which is known for cunningness, astuteness, ambition, thirst for power, self-preservati
...more
John Hatley
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've given this remarkable book 5 stars not because it enjoys such a grand reputation, but because I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Machiavelli may have been the only person in history to give such sound advice to his prince and at the same time to reveal an astonishing understanding of human nature. With very little imagination on the part of the reader, his thoughts apply equally well today as they did more than 500 years ago. Mankind is just as good—and as evil—as it was half a millennium ago ...more
Loretta
I had a really hard time getting into this book because, quite frankly, it wasn’t what I was expecting. Let me say, straight up, I’m not generally a fan of books on history. I like reading about certain parts in history but this wasn’t my cup of tea at all. Kudos to all Goodread members who thought this book deserved five stars. I’ll stand by my lonely one star and call it a day...
Orhan Pelinkovic
Being a morally virtuous leader will increase the probability of your failure, which can lead you to your downfall, but adhering to your intellectual virtues and vices (when necessary) will in all likelihood bring you well-being and prosperity. It's that simple, Machiavelli says!

Niccolò Machiavelli's (1469-1527) The Prince (1513) is a rulebook for rulers or those who aspire to be one. He dedicates and gifts this little book to Lorenzo de Medici the young new ruler of Florence who likely never re
...more
David Rubenstein
Nov 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
I didn't know exactly what to expect, when starting this classic treatise. As it turns out, the book is very accessible. Machiavelli turns out to have a very pragmatic, and practical approach to governing. One of the most important recommendations he has, is that a governing prince should keep his subjects happy. At least, don't do too many things to make them unhappy. If a governor finds himself with a population that is unhappy with him, then it is very vulnerable to attacks from the outside.

W
...more
Jon Nakapalau
This book really opened my eyes to the way true power is exercised. Should be a 'foundational book' for anyone hoping to build a 'knowledge library' they can go back to throughout life. ...more
Riku Sayuj
Sep 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Turned out to be an easier and more entertaining a read than expected from a political treatise. After having read Walden, Civil Disobedience and now The Prince one after the other, I now feel equipped enough to take on heavy weights like Nietzsche and heavier tomes.
Saadia  B.
Mar 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Talks about power and how to maintain it.

Blog | YouTube | Instagram | Facebook | LinkedIn
...more
Woman Reading
almost 4 ☆
Never attempt to win by force what can be won by deception.

After freely throwing about the adjective "Machiavellian" in my youth, I was overdue to read Nicolo Machiavelli's actual words. The Prince is quite brief for it was a letter addressed to Lorenzo Di Piero De' Medici. The famed House of Medici had ruled Florence for approximately 60 years until 1494 and then regained control in 1512.

The glory days of the Roman Empire had long faded by the 16th century; Italy was not a unified co
...more
Xander
Nov 01, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
(Old review)

I honestly don't understand why this book is - by almost everyone (as it shows here on Goodreads, for example) - so praised. I read it last year, and I briefly re-read it just now, but the answer still hasn't come up. I simply don't like this book.

Sure, as a historical document, The Prince (1513), written by Machiavelli, might be interesting. And it offers us a glimpse of the state of Italy (especially Florence) in the late 15th and early 16th centuries. But I cannot help but cynica
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Ram Alsrougi
Dec 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Leader should be loved and feared at the same time... but since love and fear can hardly exist together, if we must choose between them, it is far safer to be feared than loved."

I've always found it very difficult to rate classic works, because most of them are uneven. Definitely, this book is highly recommended If you've watched Game of Thrones.
The book contains Machiavelli's advice to the Italian ruler back then, it has shaped political thoughts for +500 years.
I was really shocked by how grea
...more
Chrissie
I hesitated to read this. I thought it would be difficult. This proved to be untrue. Perhaps this is due to a good translation by W.K. Marriott. The book is preceded by a short and informative introduction. It provides a concise overview before you begin.

Machiavelli (1469-1527) writes of how to achieve good leadership. He speaks also of how to conquer opponents, which is to say other countries / city-states. The latter is not relevant in modern times—countries with different political leanings s
...more
Catherine
“…men judge generally more by the eye than by the hand, because it belongs to everybody to see you, to few to come in touch with you. Everyone sees what you appear to be, few really know what you are…”

What a simple quote that holds so much influence. The same can be said for the book in general.

Besides the fact that history has always been one of my favourite subjects, as a dual citizen who has spent a lot of time in Italy, I felt like I would benefit from reading this to understand a littl
...more
G
Oct 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
“The lion cannot protect himself from traps, and the fox cannot defend himself from wolves. One must therefore be a fox to recognize traps, and a lion to frighten wolves.”
“Everyone sees what you appear to be, few experience what you really are.”
“Never attempt to win by force what can be won by deception.”

The Prince was a great book detailing Machiavelli's philosophy and has intriguing to how ideologies differ in a different day and age.
...more
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Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli was an Italian political philosopher, musician, poet, and 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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