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The Prince

Niccolo Machiavelli    Introduction by Daniel Donno

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Format: Paperback, 147pp.
ISBN: 9780553212785
Publisher: Bantam Classics
Pub. Date: September 1984

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Item No: 9780553212785

Description and Reviews
From The Publisher:

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.

The book has been variously described as the first to analyze the role of the political elite; as the one that established the independence of politics from theology; as an early formulation of the political 'myth' required to galvanize apolitical masses into revolutionary action; as a practical rule-book containing timeless precepts for the diplomat; and, most frequently, as the handbook of evil. Based upon Machiavelli's firsthand experience as an emissary of the Florentine Republic to the courts of Europe, The Prince analyzes the often-violent means by which political power is seized and retained, and the circumstances in which it is lost. Above all, it provides a remarkably uncompromising picture of the true nature of power, no matter in what era or by whom it is exercised.


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About the Author

The father of modern political theory, Niccolo di Bernardo dei Machiavelli was born on May 3, 1469 in Florence, Italy. Machiavelli was a political philosopher and diplomat during the Renaissance, and is most famous for his political treatise, The Prince (1513), that has become a cornerstone of modern political philosophy. The Prince was published after his death in 1532. He died of ill health on June 22, 1527.

Table of Contents
Translator's Note
Selected Books
Machiavelli's Principal Works
Letter to the Magnificent Lorenzo de Medici1
IHow many kinds of principality there are and the ways in which they are acquired5
IIHereditary principalities5
IIIComposite principalities6
IVWhy the kingdom of Darius conquered by Alexander did not rebel against his successors after his death13
VHow cities or principalities which lived under their own laws should be administered after being conquered16
VINew principalities acquired by one's own arms and prowess17
VIINew principalities acquired with the help of fortune and foreign arms20
VIIIThose who come to power by crime27
IXThe constitutional principality31
XHow the strength of every principality should be measured34
XIEcclesiastical principalities36
XIIMilitary organization and mercenary troops39
XIIIAuxiliary, composite, and native troops43
XIVHow a prince should organize his militia47
XVThe things for which men, and especially princes, are praised or blamed49
XVIGenerosity and parsimony51
XVIICruelty and compassion; and whether it is better to be loved than feared, or the reverse53
XVIIIHow princes should honour their word56
XIXThe need to avoid contempt and hatred58
XXWhether fortresses and many of the other present-day expedients to which princes have recourse are useful or not67
XXIHow a prince must act to win honour71
XXIIA prince's personal staff75
XXIIIHow flatterers must be shunned76
XXIVWhy the Italian princes have lost their states78
XXVHow far human affairs are governed by fortune, and how fortune can be opposed79
XXVIExhortation to liberate Italy from the barbarians82
Glossary of Proper Names86

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