When Lorenzo de' Medici seized control of the Florentine Republic in 1512, he summarily fired the Secretary to the Second Chancery of the Signoria and set in motion a fundamental change in the way we think about politics. The person who held the aforementioned office with the tongue-twisting title was none other than Niccolò Machiavelli, who, suddenly finding himself out of a job after 14 years of patriotic service, followed the career trajectory of many modern politicians into punditry. Unable to become an on-air political analyst for a television network, he only wrote a book. But what a book The Prince is. Its essential contribution to modern political thought lies in Machiavelli's assertion of the then revolutionary idea that theological and moral imperatives have no place in the political arena. "It must be understood," Machiavelli avers, "that a prince ... cannot observe all of those virtues for which men are reputed good, because it is often necessary to act against mercy, against faith, against humanity, against frankness, against religion, in order to preserve the state." With just a little imagination, readers can discern parallels between a 16th-century principality and a 20th-century presidency.
A refreshingly accessible new translation of this timely and dynamic classic work about the corrupting effects of power FROM THE AWARD-WINNING TRANSLATOR PETER CONSTANTINE
"If one were to assign a single edition of Machiavelli's works, this most certainly would be it" -- John. P. McCormick, Professor of Political Science, University of Chicago "Everyone should have a copy of Machiavelli's The Prince, whose original purpose may have been to counsel Renaissance rulers in the art of statecraft but is still applicable to and, indeed, acted on by modern politicians and power-brokers" Guardian "A 16th Century handbook of wily political thinking that tells you how to get the upper hand in every conceivable situation" Mail on Sunday "How amazing, that anyone's ideas should be controversial after five centuries. Machiavelli expressed a certain attitude to power - it's a good thing, and the problem is how to get and keep it - so well that he has never become out dated" Guardian "One of most influential books ever" Mirror
Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) was born in Florence. He served the Florentine republic as a secretary and second chancellor, but was expelled from public life when the Medici family returned to power in 1512.His most famous work, The Prince, was written in an attempt to gain favour with the Medicis and return to politics.