Book Review: The Prince

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This is from my Books page, on which you will find reviews of all of my favorites.

“Upon this, one has to remark that men ought either to be well treated or crushed, because they can avenge themselves of lighter injuries, of more serious ones they cannot; therefore the injury that is to be done to a man ought to be of such a kind that one does not stand in fear of revenge.”

“For my part I consider that it is better to be adventurous than cautious, because fortune is a woman, and if you wish to keep her under it is necessary to beat and ill-use her; and it is seen that she allows herself to be mastered by the adventurous rather than by those who go to work more coldly. She is, therefore, always, woman-like, a lover of young men, because they are less cautious, more violent, and with more audacity command her.”

Being well-versed in the writings of Robert Greene, I was familiar with a lot of Machiavellian principles — Prince completes the circle.

This book was written in Italian, hundreds of years ago, and has since been many times translated, making the vocabulary rougher than native-English speaking literature (and adding a week to my reading time for this book).

Prince is about the ruling of territories, what worked and what didn’t work, and why, using examples from Machiavelli’s time. If you’re a fan of the 33 Strategies or The Art Of War, The Prince is required reading.