Henry Avila's Reviews > The Prince

The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli
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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 the lucky could abide...Niccolo Machiavelli, during the Renaissance, was a successful politician , and astute diplomat , from volatile Florence, until losing power and influence there...exiled, living seven miles from his native city, bored, he had plenty of time to think, write letters to friends, the nobles and books... and knowing how treacherous men are. His most famous book, The Prince, based on the cunning Cesar Borgia, the illegitimate son of Pope Alexander VI, no silly words about the nobility of rulers, ( a brief history, the recent bloodbaths, cities and men making bad decisions, philosophical discussions, how a Prince can remain in charge, at whatever cost) should act for the good of the people, but the real facts ..."Men are wretched creatures"... "It is better to be feared than loved,"..."Never attempt to win by force what can be won by deception "...stated the experienced Machiavelli, he knew the hearts of the Princes. Having seen Cesar Borgia and talked at length with him, became an admirer, ( well aware of all his evil, the butchering, and deceit, it can be forgiven in these times ) ...this man could bring peace to his native country, by conquest... chase out the foul, foreign soldiers, unite Italy again, make her a mighty force ...But dreams are only dreams, somethings are not quite possible...."Men are simple", yet events can't be predicted..The Prince, still widely read, and quite important book on the ways of the world, told by a man who was involved during that turbulent era...While Cesar Borgia, The Prince, is greatly sanitized, into a better person, than he really was, this writer wanted to give the Italian reader hope, for a better, more prosperous future...in a land that he loved, the suffering and chaos must end... 500 years after this brilliant, but controversial little book was published, aspects of its contents will be recognized by modern audiences, a new adjective made, Machiavellian ...to deceive people , by clever methods, to gain power... nations rise and fall, the maps change, but men's avarice, do not...
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Reading Progress

October 31, 2013 – Shelved
October 31, 2013 – Shelved as: to-read
November 28, 2016 – Started Reading
December 4, 2016 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-16 of 16 (16 new)

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message 1: by Supratim (new) - added it

Supratim Wonderful review, Henry!

Henry Avila Thank you,I appreciate those words...Supratim.

message 3: by Arah-Lynda (new)

Arah-Lynda Fantastic review Henry.

message 4: by Henry (last edited Dec 05, 2016 03:47AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Henry Avila Thanks, my friend, it was a short but quite entertaining peak at Italy in the medieval era...

message 5: by Lata (new) - added it

Lata I can't believe I still haven't read this in its entirety.
Good review!

Henry Avila Thank you , it is a great book to read about politics.. and greed. Lata.

message 7: by Jessica's (new)

Jessica's Totally Over The Top Book Obsession Great review hun :)

message 8: by Cecily (new)

Cecily Topical.

Henry Avila Jessica's wrote: "Great review hun :)"I gratefully thank you , still an important book to read...

Henry Avila Cecily wrote: "Topical.

YES INDEED, Italy is always turbulent. ..

message 11: by Steve (new)

Steve Excellent review, Henry. And thought-provoking, too. You made me wonder whether the political landscape is now more Machiavellian or less than it had been at the time of The Prince. Using your useful definition -- to deceive people , by clever methods, to gain power -- I would say today's "statesmen" have the same end goals, but their lack of cleverness may make them less like Borgia. :-)

message 12: by Henry (last edited May 23, 2018 12:16AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Henry Avila Too many eyes around for politicians today , for that much power grab, in a democracy, but still try to manipulate events.

message 13: by Ordam (new) - added it

Ordam Torkwase Very interesting.

HindAlQemzi It's talks about a type of political shift in a philosophical way.

Henry Avila Ordam wrote: "Very interesting."
Still relevant today...sad.

Henry Avila HindAlQemzi wrote: "It's talks about a type of political shift in a philosophical way."
Yes indeed things haven't changed much in 500 years...politics is a dirty game.

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