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Publisher's Summary

The Prince is a 16th-century political treatise by the Italian diplomat and political theorist Niccolò Machiavelli. From correspondence, a version appears to have been distributed in 1513, using a Latin title, De Principatibus (About Principalities). However, the printed version was not published until 1532, five years after Machiavelli's death. This was done with the permission of the Medici Pope Clement VII, but long before then, in fact since the first appearance of The Prince in manuscript, controversy had swirled about his writings".
Although it was written as if it were a traditional work in the mirrors for princes style, it is generally agreed that it was especially innovative. This is only partly because it was written in the vernacular Italian rather than Latin, a practice which had become increasingly popular since the publication of Dante's Divine Comedy and other works of Renaissance literature.
The Prince is sometimes claimed to be one of the first works of modern philosophy, especially modern political philosophy, in which the effective truth is taken to be more important than any abstract ideal. It was also in direct conflict with the dominant Catholic and scholastic doctrines of the time concerning politics and ethics.
Although it is relatively short, the treatise is the most remembered of Machiavelli's works and the one most responsible for bringing the word "Machiavellian" into usage as a pejorative. It even contributed to the modern negative connotations of the words "politics" and "politician" in western countries. In terms of subject matter, it overlaps with the much longer Discourses on Livy, which was written a few years later. In its use of near-contemporary Italians as examples of people who perpetrated criminal deeds for politics, another lesser-known work by Machiavelli which The Prince has been compared to is The Life of Castruccio Castracani.
Public Domain (P)2017 Dreamtown Publishing
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Customer Reviews

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By Emily on 02-10-18


Any additional comments?

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

I find The Prince incredibly fascinating. It is a product of its time, Italy in the 1500s being a collection of incredibly war torn states, power transferring hands quickly and often, but some of its ideas are surprisingly contemporary, especially for politicians.

“Everybody sees what you appear to be, few experience what you really are.” While considered evil, many of Machiavelli’s ideals are practical and pragmatic. Contemporary politicians could learn something from reading this book, though being regarded as Machiavellian is of course seen negatively, and how can you not when the two most famous axioms from The Prince are ‘the end justifies the means’ (though Machiavelli technically doesn’t say this) and ‘its better to be fear than loved’.

I believe that this is one of those books that should be read by anybody interested in history, politics, business, anything.

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By Jack on 01-21-18

A Classic Brought to Life

What made the experience of listening to The Prince the most enjoyable?

I've read this on paper format, but it's been years. The narrator really brought this amazing piece of work to life and I feel I enjoyed it more than before.

What did you like best about this story?

This book is not only interesting, but very historically significant - so it's interesting from two angles.

Any additional comments?

I believe there are a number of narrations on this book out there - but this is really an excellent one and the best choice in my opinion.

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