Original translation in 1908 by W.K. Marryatt, updated by Alan Petrides in 1995.
© and (P)2005 CSA Telltapes Ltd
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.
THE MAD KING
The clear, concise definitions of what each cataglory is and how to maintain your power in each.
That it provided examples of possible pit fall and how to avoild them.
that this book deserves further study by anyone who craves power.
"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.
Only a true Machiavellian would understand...
Ian Richardson helps bring alive one of the most famous political books of the last millennium, it is well worth the purchase!
"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.
The narration is pretty good, however, the story itself is very boring. It is difficult to follow it since its content is about politics.
"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...'
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