The Prince: Second Edition (Paperback) ~ Niccolo Machiavelli (Au... Cover Art

The Prince: Second Edition (Paperback)

By: Niccolo Machiavelli (Author)


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Review

When Lorenzo de'' Medici seized control of the Florentine Republic in 1512, he summarily fired the Secretary to the Second Chancery of the Signoria and set in motion a fundamental change in the way we think about politics. The person who held the aforementioned office with the tongue-twisting title was none other than Niccolò Machiavelli, who, suddenly finding himself out of a job after 14 years of patriotic service, followed the career trajectory of many modern politicians into punditry. Unable to become an on-air political analyst for a television network, he only wrote a book. But what a book The Prince is. Its essential contribution to modern political thought lies in Machiavelli''s assertion of the then revolutionary idea that theological and moral imperatives have no place in the political arena. "It must be understood," Machiavelli avers, "that a prince ... cannot observe all of those virtues for which men are reputed good, because it is often necessary to act against mercy, against faith, against humanity, against frankness, against religion, in order to preserve the state." With just a little imagination, readers can discern parallels between a 16th-century principality and a 20th-century presidency. --Tim Hogan

Short Desription

The most famous book on politics ever written, The Prince remains as lively and shocking today as when it was written almost five hundred years ago. Initially denounced as a collection of sinister maxims and a recommendation of tyranny, it has more recently been defended and indeed applauded as the first scientific treatment of politics as it is practiced rather than as it ought to be practiced. A masterpiece of effective prose, The Prince is at once comic and formidable, imaginative and calculating, fascinating and chilling. Its influence in modern history has been profound, and - often considered to be the first modern book - it was surely a primary text for the modern philosophers who challenged the traditions of ancient and medieval thought and morality. Mansfield''s translation of this classic work, in combination with the new material added for this edition, makes it the definitive version of The Prince, indispensable to scholars, students, and lovers of the dark art of politics.



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