Synopses & Reviews
Intellectual history has bequeathed a venerable place to Machiavelli as the forefather of modern political science. In this, his most famous work, matters political are assessed from a perspective so radical that Machiavelli has remained a controversial figure from the very first appearance of The Prince.
Viewing the political climate of sixteenth-century Italy from the standpoint of one who had mastered the classic works of political philosophy and had experienced the volatility of public office, Machiavelli lays bare the pulsating anatomy of political power with uncanny precision. In the guise of advising present and would-be princes on the critical subjects of acquiring, maintaining, and expanding their political foothold, as well as the dangers that threaten to undermine those who head governments, Machiavelli beckons all of us to become aware of practical politicsthe science and the art of statecraft.
That Machiavelli's name has become synonymous with cold-eyed political calculation only heightens the intrinsic fascination of The Prince - the world's pre-eminent how-to manual on the art of getting and keeping power, and one of the literary landmarks of the Italian Renaissance. Written in a vigorous, straightforward style which reflects its author's realism, this treatise on states, statecraft, and the ideal ruler is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand how human society actually works.