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The Prince | [Nicolo Machiavelli]

The Prince

How remarkable that an Italian living in the 15th and 16th centuries should lend his name to a word still in common usage in the English language today. Nicolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) wrote only one major work as a gift for his ruling Prince, Lorenzo de Medici. Machiavelli held office as a senior civil servant for 14 years until the downfall of the Republic in 1512. No longer officially employed to impart advice, instead Machiavelli poured out his ideas and resentment in his writings.
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Publisher's Summary

How remarkable that an Italian living in the 15th and 16th centuries should lend his name to a word still in common usage in the English language today. Nicolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) wrote only one major work as a gift for his ruling Prince, Lorenzo de Medici. Machiavelli held office as a senior civil servant for 14 years until the downfall of the Republic in 1512. No longer officially employed to impart advice, instead Machiavelli poured out his ideas and resentment in his writings. The Prince has remained a prominent classic ever since; valued for its shrewd psychological insight, powerful words, and prophetic quality. And even today, it has never lost its power to shock and influence. Ian Richardson's formidable reading of this modern unabridged translation is an accessible and entertaining way in to a truly compelling world view.

Original translation in 1908 by W.K. Marryatt, updated by Alan Petrides in 1995.

© and (P)2005 CSA Telltapes Ltd

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (332 )
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4.2 (168 )
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4.3 (170 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Rolando 05-08-14
    Rolando 05-08-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    82
    ratings
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    131
    35
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    "To be feared"

    Is it better to be feared or loved? The answer is you must focus on that which you can control and not on what you can not control. Love is given and therefore out of your control. Instilling fear is something that you can control. Great book on acquiring and retaining power, I can't believe that after being exposed to this book over 20 years ago, I finally read it. I will read this one again and again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CW Weston, WV, United States 12-20-11
    CW Weston, WV, United States 12-20-11

    THE MAD KING

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    8
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    Story
    "Deals intellengently with how to maintain power"
    What did you love best about The Prince?

    The clear, concise definitions of what each cataglory is and how to maintain your power in each.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    That it provided examples of possible pit fall and how to avoild them.


    What about Ian Richardson’s performance did you like?

    good


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    that this book deserves further study by anyone who craves power.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Miguel 11-22-08
    Miguel 11-22-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "great classic but reading too pompous"

    It's a pity this wonderful classic is read in a style which is too pompous and afected to be plesant.

    1 of 6 people found this review helpful
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  • Tim
    High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom
    3/5/11
    Overall
    "Machiavelli is Alive!"

    One of the first books I read for fun (as opposed to academically) was ?The Prince?. At the time it came across as crisp & pithy, but more like a manual for politics than a living, breathing text (similar to Sun Tzu's ?The Art of War?).

    The fantastic thing about this Audio book is that it brings the cadences of ?The Prince? to life. Whereas the book is pretty much dredged for advice & the anecdotes are disgarded, Ian Richardson's presence forces you to engage with his story & with the fascinatingly varied life of Machiavelli. As the other reviewer has said 'the late Ian Richardson of House of Cards fame is exactly the right voice for this piece'. I would add that his qualities as an actor bring clarity & vivid detail to what is otherwise a political textbook.

    And what did Machiavelli live through? Some of the most Interesting times (in all senses!) in Medieval Italian politics, when the Pope, Venetia, France & Spain all vied for dominance of Italy (& all eventually failed in some regard). It is in this backdrop provides fruitful material for Machiavelli to dissect. At each stage Machiavelli states how the states work, what things they did right & what failures lead to their downfall.

    And the best part was the ending, where he appeals for a united Italy. In the book this comes over rather plainly, but with Ian Richardson's compelling reading, you really feel the depth of feeling that Machiavelli wished to convey.

    My one criticism is that the intense analysis is not ideal if you?re listening in the car. To understand the analysis fully it needs your full attention.

    So, definitely a worthwhile purchase & a valuable insight into the passion & intensity of one of history's greatest political commentators. If you like this particular one, then I thoroughly recommend Dawkins' reading of ?On The Origin of Species?. It is always good to hear dry non-fiction brought to life by a narrator.
    Why?
    Only a true Machiavellian would understand...

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Andrew
    Bromsgrove, United Kingdom
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "Terrific"

    Ian Richardson helps bring alive one of the most famous political books of the last millennium, it is well worth the purchase!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kirstine
    Bonnyrigg, United Kingdom
    11/14/07
    Overall
    "Rather specialized interest"

    I was disappointed that I didn't enjoy this book to the end. It is excellently read by Ian Richardson, but after a while it becomes rather repetitive in the philosophy of the nature of government and for the modern reader/listener, if not well-versed in classical history, many of the illustrations from that era of history are unhelpful.
    I should imagine the book would be more interesting to those who study politics and philosophy.

    3 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Simone
    CHERTSEY, United Kingdom
    5/17/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Boring"

    The narration is pretty good, however, the story itself is very boring. It is difficult to follow it since its content is about politics.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Stephen
    Rowlands Gill,, United Kingdom
    6/28/08
    Overall
    "Francis Urquhart's coda"

    This renaissance suppository for the Italian ruling class has long been a staple of the new university social science oeuvre - an unfinished opus that red-brickies swap shamelessly over the Chardonnay. Yes, it's all sounding a bit 80's now isn't it?
    But still, we soldier on manfully and laugh along with Ian Richardson's pince-nez, pronunciation even if we can't fill in the referential gaps....'I've just finished re-reading Niccol? Machiavelli (1469-1527), the Italian historian, statesman, and political philosopher, whose amoral, but influential writings on statecraft have turned his name into a synonym for cunning and duplicity....those olives are delicious aren't they, how much did they manage to get for it in the end..? She was hoping for a lot more than that...'

    0 of 4 people found this review helpful

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