Book 13: The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli – 106 pages
Description from bookdepository.co.uk:
"The Prince" shocked Europe on publication with its ruthless tactics for gaining absolute power and its abandonment of conventional morality. Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) came to be regarded as some by an agent of the Devil and his name taken for the intriguer 'Machevill' of Jacobean tragedy. For his treatise on statecraft Machiavelli drew upon his own experience of office under the turbulent Florentine republic, rejecting traditional values of political theory and recognizing the complicated, transient nature of political life. Concerned not with lofty ideals, but with a regime that would last, "The Prince" has become the Bible of realpolitik, and still retains its power to alarm and to instruct.
Whilst studying my international relations masters, this book came up a fair bit in discussions within required readings, so I thought I should read the original text. Of course, given when it was written, it, at times, can be a challenging read. While I don’t necessarily agree with the overarching themes of Machiavelli’s approach, there are lessons to be taken away from it, and it obviously has had and continues to have an affect on politics. It’s also a fairly short read, and though I think one really needs to read it in conjunction with relevant analysis, reading the original text is a valuable exercise for any student of politics.
13 / 50 books. 26% done!
6182 / 15000 pages. 41% done!
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