Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Prince (Niccolo Machiavelli)

The Prince
Niccolo Machiavelli
Open Road Media
Nonfiction, Politics/War
*** (Okay)

DESCRIPTION: Niccolo Machiavelli, a lawyer and diplomat of 15th-century Florence, is best remembered for his writings on politics and power. This book outlines the nature of principalities, and the methods of obtaining, securing, and expanding one's holdings.

REVIEW: This was another public domain download, part of my ongoing, if spotty, efforts to expand my horizons and patch the numerous knowledge holes in my undereducated brain. The writing, as one might expect, is a bit thick even in translation, riddled with references that only a scholar of Italian history would fully appreciate. Still, it presents interesting and timeless insights into those who have or aspire to power; the methods may change, but human psychology stays the same, and the same strengths and weaknesses Machiavelli observed still play out in the world today. I do wish this edition had included a few maps, or more footnotes explaining military and political nuances that the author took for granted, but which are far from obvious to the modern casual reader. Overall, though, it's not a bad study.

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