Roger's Reviews > The Prince

The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli
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's review
Oct 15, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: classics, multiple-reads, philosophy-and-ideas
Read in August, 2011

Machiavelli may not live up to his sinister reputation, but I am not going to defend him. No one but a politician can love or accept some of his advice, such as the importance of being a hypocrite and the value of disloyalty. His writing is powerful so that his perverse opinions sound compelling and even reasonable until you stop and think about them. As to conquering foreign nations, I thought that advice made sense. A conquered foreign nation is much easier to maintain if they share the same language and culture. In any case the conqueror should move to the conquered state. Alternatively, settlement of the conquered lands will help to preserve the dominion. But trying to keep control of a foreign state by sending occupying military force is both expensive and futile. This advice would have been useful before invading Iraq. If he really wanted to make the invasion a success, George Bush should have moved there. That would have shown commitment to the cause.

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