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I think this was the first time that I read this book from cover to cover rather than dipping in and out of it, I feel that it s reputation is bleaker than it s bite, it seems no cynical than observing to oneself, when an American political figure says something, that there is an election coming up, and it is far less cynical, or brutally practical than The Memoirs of Philippe de Commynes in my opinion.It stands out perhaps on two grounds, one it completely avoids conventional Christian morality or conventional Christian moral authorities but then as far as I recall so does Commynes , and interestingly he makes the point that for the Prince, private virtues make for public vices, or as one observes of boy scouts, there is no point in doing a good deed unless they are certain that they are going to be observed and that a favourable report will reach the ears of the troop leader.My overall impression of this short, readable study of how Machiavelli considered politics was conducted during his lifetime in Italy mostly from Rome northwards is that it is the work of a political pundit view spoiler to use a good old Hindi word hide spoiler Il Principe The Prince, Niccol MachiavelliThe Prince is a 16th century political treatise by the Italian diplomat and political theorist Niccol Machiavelli From correspondence a version appears to have been distributed in 1513 However, the printed version was not published until 1532, five years after Machiavelli s death Machiavelli says that The Prince would be about princedoms, mentioning that he has written about republics elsewhere a reference to the Discourses on Livy , but in fact he mixes discussion of republics into this work in many places, effectively treating republics as a type of princedom also, and one with many strengths More importantly, and less traditionally, he distinguishes new princedoms from hereditary established princedoms.Characters Theseus, Alexander the Great, Louis XII, Cesare Borgia, Francesco Sforza, Niccol Machiavelli, Pope Alexander VI 1995 16 1311 130 1357 140 1366 135 1387 191 1392 190 1392 96 #READ E-PUB ï Il principe ⚣ What Makes This Well Annotated Translation Stand Out From Others Is An Insightful Introduction By Editor Thomas G Bergin Especially Helpful For Achieving A Better Understanding Of The Times And The Political Scene In Which Machiavelli Worked, Lived, And Wrote Also Included Are A List Of Important Dates In Machiavelli S Life, An Index Of Proper Names In The Text And Notes, And A Selected Bibliography Il Principe The Prince, Niccol MachiavelliThe Prince is a 16th century political treatise by the Italian diplomat and political theorist Niccol Machiavelli Machiavelli said that The Prince would be about princedoms, mentioning that he has written about republics elsewhere, but in fact he mixes discussion of republics into this in many places, effectively treating republics as a type of princedom also, and one with many strengths More importantly, and less traditionally, he distinguishes new princedoms from hereditary established princedoms He deals with hereditary princedoms quickly in Chapter 2, saying that they are much easier to rule For such a prince, unless extraordinary vices cause him to be hated, it is reasonable to expect that his subjects will be naturally well disposed towards him 1995 1995 16 1311 130 1357 140 1366 135 1387 191 1392 190 1392 96 I don t know how come I never reviewed this one but recently I was visiting this friend of mine in south India, Pramod yes, the one from Goodreads , when he showed me this not so popular smaller piece, allegedly written by the author in his last days, Le Gente and never published for common people about how they can succeed in social life using diplomacy There were only twenty copies of same written in 19th century, of which Pramod s was one Since he is a sort of book worshipper, he won t let me touch it Needless to say, I stole it before starting on my return journey.If he finds about this review, he might unfriend me and sue me for theft so this review won t be here too long Anyway, in case of a legal action, I can always take shelter in points 14, 16 and 17 below.Ever since my return, I have been made to understand that critics believe these copies to be forgeries, none of these copies completely agree amongst themselves Moreover, the writing style and some of the words used, suggest a later day authorship That being said, I think mine or Pramod s made some good points, although they weren t all so original It will seem them that past and present owners of these copies have been quoting them without mentioning their source.Since document is medieval and vague, I have been able to translate it only partially Google translator helps only so much Here are a few tips I found I will add , whenever I m able to decipher the rest of it 1 Honesty might win you friends, but not the powerful ones The later will be your enemies 2 If you delay it to the last moment and pretend to be anxious, one of your friends will come in and want to help you finish the project Best way to half your workload.3 Tell them an obvious lie to begin with This will make them think that you are a bad lier and they will be inclined to believe in your cleverly told lies.4 If you hate doing something do it wrong the first time, they won t ask you to do it again.5 Honesty is a terrible policy, that is, unless you put it on auction, or,Character doesn t buy food not unless you get a good price for it.6 Always pretend to be extremely religious It creates a halo effect and makes people invest in you, virtues you don t have Also, if you are lucky, call it Karma , If you are unlucky, call it God s mysterious ways Always say God willing whenever you make a promise the best way to shrug off responsibility if you don t want to honor your promise 7 A clever person always appreciates polite friends They will let you walk all over them and take credit for their hard work Nothing like them.8 Never be on time Let them wait for you Teaches them b how to value you.9 Lying shows lack of art The cleverness lies in telling people the selective truth Still, if you have to lie, do Scientists say there are alternative worlds in which almost everything is the truth So, technically you can t tell a lie And you can t be accused if peoplejust assume that you are speaking only of this world.10 Any show of your real sentiments is a weakness The ability to show the sentiments that people want to see, even if you don t have them, on the other hand, is a strength.11 Never ever let the underdogs fool you into kindness.12 Always have someone handy to blame your failure upon.13 Be quiet, and they will think of you as very wise Be too talkative, and they will think of you as fools A clever disguise both ways.14 If they can t prove it, you can t be wrong 15 If you say it repeatedly and are loud enough, it will become a truth.16 The only crime is being caught Criminals have got away with almost everything when they weren t caught So, make sure you are never get caught at anything A clever person reads a law saying Theft is punishable by law as Being caught and proved a thief is punishable by law 17 At the end of the day, most advocates belong to Devil And if you happen to come across a righteous one, Devil also happens to have most of the judges However looking for a legal loophole before you leap is still beneficial economically.18 If you owe a bank five thousand dollars, the bank owns you If you owe a bank five million dollars, you own the bank.19 Gangsters and soldiers are boys Managers, Lawyers, priests and politicians are women.20 Nothing helps in creating money like an unhealthy conscience.21 There are four kinds of people the order is such that ones lower in the order have a better chance at being successful those who are good, and are seen by others as good, those who are good but are seen by others as wicked those who are and are seen by others as wicked, those who are wicked but are seen by others as good thank you erroneously written in original Italian as lo borgeso instead of lo biasimo. Italy in the early 1500 s was a sad, dispirited land of constant wars, deaths, destruction, political betrayals, schemes of conquest by greedy aristocrats, trying to enlarge their petty Italian states, invasion by ruthless, foreign troops, from France, Spain, the Swiss, rulers being overthrown and killed, armies continuously marching, towns sacked, fires blazing, black smoke poring into the sky , mercenary soldiers, slaughtering the innocent, pestilence spreading, only the wise, the strong and the lucky could abideNiccolo Machiavelli, during the Renaissance, was a successful politician , and astute diplomat , from volatile Florence, until losing power and influence thereexiled, living seven miles from his native city, bored, he had plenty of time to think, write letters to friends, the nobles and books and knowing how treacherous men are His most famous book, The Prince, based on the cunning Cesar Borgia, the illegitimate son of Pope Alexander VI, no silly words about the nobility of rulers, a brief history, the recent bloodbaths, cities and men making bad decisions, philosophical discussions, how a Prince can remain in charge, at whatever cost should act for the good of the people, but the real facts Men are wretched creatures It is better to be feared than loved, Never attempt to win by force what can be won by deception stated the experienced Machiavelli, he knew the hearts of the Princes Having seen Cesar Borgia and talked at length with him, became an admirer, well aware of all his evil, the butchering, and deceit, it can be forgiven in these times this man could bring peace to his native country, by conquest chase out the foul, foreign soldiers, unite Italy again, make her a mighty force But dreams are only dreams, somethings are not quite possible Men are simple , yet events can t be predicted..The Prince, still widely read, and quite important book on the ways of the world, told by a man who was involved during that turbulent eraWhile Cesar Borgia, The Prince, is greatly sanitized, into a better person, than he really was, this writer wanted to give the Italian reader hope, for a better, prosperous futurein a land that he loved, the suffering and chaos must end 500 years after this brilliant, but controversial little book was published, aspects of its contents will be recognized by modern audiences, a new adjective made, Machiavellian to deceive people , by clever methods, to gain power nations rise and fall, the maps change, but men s avarice, do not In this book, Machiavelli makes his purpose clear how to get power and keep it No happiness No warm and fuzzy pats on the back Definitely no hugs No words of encouragement Definitely nothing about being nice Being nice, in politics, in war, in struggles for power, often ends with one person winning and the other person being in prison, disgraced, exiled, or dead That was the context in which Machiavelli wrote this book Italy at the time was a collection of warring states, not united One power would seize control, and then it would be lost when that ruler died, or, worse, made a horrible mistake Machiavelli did the best thing he could he took a step back, observed, took notes, and then presented his findings to the person he felt had the most promise at the time I love reading reviews about how the books is so this and that, so diabolical and evil and mean, and yet how so many people divorce it from the context it was written in, as if it was created in a vacuum Remember, people in his time, if you were a leader, you had some seriously scary decisions to make, and there was no room for emotion, for warmth, nor for sentimentality Sure, it might sound like a really screwed up and horrible way to live and think, but when you are a leader of a nation beset on all sides by those who would like nothing than to invade your country, raze it, and then subject your people to being occupied or worse , you do what you need to do in order to survive When you are fighting for survival, all ends do justify the means because the goal is survival Period Machiavelli understood this, and the product was this book There is a damn good reason why so many people started calling him the devil Why the book was put on the Catholic Index of banned books The book makes no promises about being nice or this or that It delivers on what it promises how a person can gain and acquire power and keep it, and the sometimes ruthless actions necessary to maintain it and protect one s own self. How to run things and hopefully remain popular but not give a monkey s if they hate you How to instil enough fear in people that they at least show respect to your face.Plenty of good lessons here for a politician, but adaptable by anyone if you don t mind being thought evil by your nearest and dearest And I don t. This is no Little Prince, that s for sure You must kill the fox, burn the rose, murder the businessman, if any of them tries to take control over your princedom There s no time to be nice There s only time to seem to be nice At the end of the day, it is better to be feared than loved, if you can t be both Nevertheless, keep in mind chapter 23 The Prince was written in the 16th century and a couple of its ideas are too contemporary It is a major treatise that influenced several political leaders throughout history Machiavelli is widely regarded as the father of modern politics by taking away any trace of theology and morality from his works That is something no one has ever said before I should have read it long ago, but everything has its time, I suppose.So, there are a lot of concepts that should just stay in the book and a few which you may apply to everyday circumstances It delivers what you are waiting for, if you want to know how to have and keep power to yourself, no matter the head you are crushing, and all that using a fairly straightforward language It is a short book and easy to understand, even though the notion of achieving glory, power and survival, regardless of how immoral you have to be it is not difficult to comprehend that we get.Cruelty, wickedness, immorality all those things apparently needed to achieve greatness, all of them printed long ago in the form of a little book, just like that From a twisted point of view, sometimes, it is almost a bit funny.It was an excellent read.There is no other way to guard yourself against flattery than by making men understand that telling you the truth will not offend you 137 Lovely Also on my blog. I m weirdly pleased that The Prince lives up to its reputation it is indeed Machiavellian Here s his advice on conquering self governing states i.e democracies The only way to hold on to such a state is to reduce it to rubble Well then.I d like to say that any guy whose last name becomes a synonym for evil is a badass, but Machiavelli wasn t he was a failed minor diplomat who wrote this in a failed attempt to get reemployed Stupid attempt, too anyone who hired him would be advertising that he espoused Machiavellian values This book was published, after all And as he himself advises, A leader doesn t have to possess virtuous qualities, but it s imperative that he seem to possess them So I ll go with this anyone whose last name becomes a synonym for evil has written a good book.I hope to match that effect with my first novel Working title Unicorns are Pretty So if Machiavelli was such a loser, how did his book get so famous It s not because it s great advice it sortof isn t I think it s because it s just a ton of fun to read It s chock full of over the top quotes like the ones above It s really funny.Which brings up a recurring topic for debate did he intend for this to be taken seriously, or is it satire I think it s the former mixed in with the zany stuff is a fair amount of common sense advice He could certainly have included that to make the zany stuff pop , or to camouflage it a bit, but I prefer to think he meant the whole thing seriously And it s not like any of it is advice someone hasn t followed at some point See my first quote above yeah, we ve tried that Translation review this is the very latest translation Parks has gone to great trouble to reduce the crazy complexity of Machiavelli s sentences I know this from reading his excellent Translator s Note and I appreciate that He s also tried hard to make it accessible to modern audiences, and sometimes I think he s tipped a tiny bit overboard on that front When a ruler occupies a land that has a different languagethen things get rough Difficult would have been perfectly clear rough is too colloquial We want to be able to read our classics, but we don t need to pretend they were written yesterday That s a relatively minor complaint, though this is a clear and easy translation Good intro, too And a glossary of proper names at the back, so you can sort out the various contemporary figures you don t recognize.I ll close with my favorite quote It s better to be impulsive than cautious fortune is female and if you want to stay on top of her you have to slap and thrust Machiavelli kindof a dick.