Henry Avila's Reviews > The Prince
Henry Avila's review
Dec 04, 2016
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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