The Prince [with Biographical Introduction]

Ranked #1 in Pakistan History, Ranked #1 in Political Theorysee more rankings.

Niccolo Machiavelli's "The Prince" is intended to be a treatise on ruling and is considered by many to be a classic of political science. In the book Machiavelli offers many bits of practical advice on how to rule and even though the book was written in the early 16th century its ideas are still very relevant today. Where "The Prince" differs from other political literature before it is in its separation of the lofty idealism of morality and ethics from the practical demands of governing. It is this very aspect of Machiavelli's work that has made his name synonymous with an almost immoral... more

Reviews and Recommendations

We've comprehensively compiled reviews of The Prince [with Biographical Introduction] from the world's leading experts.

Neil deGrasse Tyson Astrophysicist, Author & Science CommunicatorWhich books should be read by every single intelligent person on planet? [...] The Prince (Machiavelli) [to learn that people not in power will do all they can to acquire it, and people in power will do all they can to keep it]. If you read all of the above works you will glean profound insight into most of what has driven the history of the western world. (Source)

Eric Ripert A fascinating study and still wholly relevant. (Source)

Ryan Holiday AuthorOf course, this is a must read. Machiavelli is one of those figures and writers who is tragically overrated and underrated at the same time. Unfortunately that means that many people who read him miss the point and other people avoid him and miss out altogether. Take Machiavelli slow, and really read him. Also understand the man behind the book–not just as a masterful writer but a man who withstood heinous torture and exile with barely a whimper. Machiavelli is a glimpse into a time when power was literal and out for public viewing–when he talks about making an example of someone, he doesn’t... (Source)

Stephen Schwarzman CEO/Blackstone GroupMr. Schwarzman certainly has no dearth of books at his disposal. His name graces the New York Public Library. But what are his literary loves? Without further ado, here are his five most influential books: “The Prince,” by Niccolò Machiavelli. “We Were Soldiers Once… and Young,” by Harold G. Moore and Joseph L. Galloway “The Interpretation of Dreams,” by Sigmund Freud “Childhood and Society,” by Erik H. Erikson “The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money & Power,” by Daniel Yergin (Source)

Mark Bloomfield I studied political theory when I was in college and Machiavelli was always intriguing to me. It’s a description of the human character and in my profession, lobbying, which is all about influencing people, it’s important to get some insights into human nature. Obviously there’s a debate about what Machiavelli really meant: whether it was meant as a parody or satire. (Source)

Bogdan Savonea Kissinger's "Diplomacy", Huntington's "Clash of Civilizations" and Machiavelli's "The Prince". They pretty much shaped the first part of my life, defined my University choice and career path up until my late 20s. (Source)

Stephane Grand When a look back at my career path, it is the one of an entrepreneur. I have built various businesses, from accounting and financial advisory firms to tech and security businesses. I have also spent most of my adult life in China, a country that is quite hostile to foreigners and very unfair. I have accepted to suffer the hardships of building my business without any investment from anybody, and stick very firmly to my values. I would recommend young people to read about adventure, hardships, and moral choices. Of course, it would be important to also read about the drivers of our humanity,... (Source)

Ella Zheng I saw a documentary about it and was intrigued. I also took the MACH-IV: Machiavellianism Test and scored a pretty high mark in it so I thought no harm in buying the book to read. The book is known to be controversial as it has principles that might go against religious beliefs. However, many politicians and business owners have taken many lessons away from this book hence I would like to gain some knowledge and insight from the chapters as well. (Source)

Bill Liao The human world occurs in language so best get good at it! (Source)

Jonathan Powell The reason this book is still read today is that, like Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Macbeth, it’s based on human nature. (Source)

Nigel Warburton If you want to get a perspective on how the politics of power and ruthlessness work, or simply see some of the thinking behind Game of Thrones, this short, slightly fragmentary book, written in the 16th century, is still the best around. (Source)

Kenneth Bartlett It was a book about how to deal with the crisis of Italy after the French invasions. Machiavelli’s response, in The Prince, was that the only way Italy was going to maintain its independence, and freedom, and drive out the barbarians—which is a term he always used for northern Europeans—was to beat them at their own game, to be more violent, more vicious, more brutal, and more faithless (Source)

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