A classic strategy thesis, The Prince, aligned with Sun Zu's The Art of War is not only a guide for soldiers, but is also a handbook for the modern corporate sociopath, of which most organisations are governed by, sad to say.
This book of advice for budding princes funnily enough throws light on the operations of our contemporary politicians. It’s a bit of “the emporer has no clothes” moment. Showing up their now obvious strategies and lies.
He'd be more Prince than the Prince. Putin no doubt has the Russian translation tucked under his pillow. This is perfect snapshot reading for corporate titans across the world as they plot for 2019 aboard their corporate yachts this holiday season. Just to tune up the empire planning.
I've read various translations of `The Prince' over the past 40 years, and was introduced to this one as part of a book club read. I was interested to see how I'd find this translation relative to others and I was particularly interested in reading Tim Parks's long, context-setting introduction.
Why do we continue to read `The Prince'? What lessons can we learn from a political treatise written by a retired diplomat in the 16th century? Do we read it because of the insight it may provide into the minds of our own rulers? I suspect that few of us read it as a primer for our own attempts to seize power. And if we read it for insight, then it is an egalitarian text rather than an elitist one.
I enjoyed the introduction, and believe that it would be helpful to a first time reader of `The Prince', especially to a reader unfamiliar with the political landscape of Italy in the 16th century. Machiavelli's portrayal of the world as it was makes far more sense with some knowledge of the historical and political context.
The first part of the book discusses different kinds of state, how to deal with trouble in each of them and how to conquer each type successfully. In conquering a republic: `your only options are to reduce the place to rubble or go and live there yourself'.
My favourite parts, though, are where Machiavelli tells us what attributes an effective ruler should have: `It's seeming to be virtuous that helps; as, for example, seeming to be compassionate, loyal, humane, honest and religious.' Appearances are clearly important.
While I enjoyed the translation, I found a couple of modern linguistic references jarring. Not, I hasten to add, because I think that they are wrong simply that I'm more used to an older style of expression from works of this period. On the other hand, much of what Machiavelli wrote in the 16th century could equally have been written this century or even last week.
If you haven't yet read `The Prince' I can recommend this translation. If you have previously read `The Prince', this translation is worth reading because of both the introduction and because one of Tim Parks's objectives was to convey a sense and feel of the original text as it would have been understood at the time.
`A leader doesn't have to possess all the virtuous qualities I've mentioned, but it's absolutely imperative that he seem to possess them.'
Essential reading for those who would wield power, either in business or in politics, this used to be a book that you would either borrow from a library or seek secondhand in your university bookshop. Now it is in e-book format, perhaps more people will read and absorb its wisdom. The language is not archaic enough to be a challenge in itself, and the messages are clear. I wonder how many African and Arab leaders have read it?
Niccolò Machiavelli’s The Prince this is a very good book for all.
I really like the strategies this book because they're so practical and easy to implement. I found a lot of value inside this political philosophy have book type of book. I love how this particular concepts have been taught for many years now. How to acquire power was my section.
I first read The Prince in business school, and coming back to it now simply reinforces this book's value as the seminal work of strategic thinking, applicable to business, warfare, and every aspect of influence. Hopefully, its availability as an ebook should now ensure it reaches a wider audience, because it should be required reading for anyone contemplating leadership as a career path.
This was an interesting read. It gave good insights into the meaning of a “Machiavellian approach”. Along with these thoughts and ideas, this book serves as a rich history lesson. A well written, historically informative book