From his perspective in Renaissance Italy, Machiavelli's aim in this classic work was to resolve conflict with the ruling prince, Lorenzo de Medici. Machiavelli based his insights on the way people really are rather than an ideal of how they should be. This is the world's most famous master plan for seizing and holding power. Astonishing in its candor The Prince even today remains a disturbingly realistic and prophetic work on what it takes to be a prince, a king, or a president. When Machiavelli was removed from his post in his beloved Florence, he resolved to set down a treatise on leadership that was practical, not idealistic. The Prince he envisioned would be unencumbered by ordinary ethical and moral values. Even today, this sixteenth-century classic has become essential listening for every student of government, and is the ultimate audiobook on power politics.
Public Domain (P)2013 Gildan Media LLC
Interested in mostly history, biographies, autobiographies, classics, and Great Courses...with some Sci Fi thrown in for fun!
Casual readers beware, you have to know what you are getting when you purchase The Prince. It is difficult to fault the narrator for some of the more boring parts of the book because Machiavelli is just boring sometimes. However, he also has some of the boldest insights into political thought that were hundreds of years before his time and many of which are still applicable today. Brush up on your Italian, Greek, and Roman history and dig in.
Very important for the history an influence, this translation has a good introduction and a place where the history is explained.
If you are very interested in the topic the Teaching Company course "Machiavelli in Context", also available here, is the best at truly putting Machiavelli in Context and shedding light on his times and thought (I highly recommend it); The Kreeft Modern Scholar Ethic's course, also available here, is probably the most out-of-context I have listened to... This is a fine addition to either course.
It wasn't wasted, but it would have been more productive if I had possessed the proper historical context for the details discussed.
I would say it is only for someone who has a good grounding in ancient and Italian history.
He gives a very clear, reading of the material - I always enjoy his work.
If it does, it needs some ancient and Italian history, followed by a re-listen.
The fault is mine, not the book's. Just trying to broaden my horizons, but I need some lower level broadening before I tackle this one again (which I just might do).
I grew up on Golden Age Radio, I love to learn about a great many things, and I enjoy a wide variety of genres. Me, bored? Never!
Machiavelli's name has become synonymous with evil and corruption, and it was many years with this understanding that I first encountered this book. Now over 20 years later, I return to it with a far better understanding of the situations he writes about and who the players are, most especially Cesare Borgia, whose successes and ultimate failure were of considerable example to this work.
With this new understanding, I'm able to see the pragmatism behind this book, how as a tool to strengthen the objectives of whoever wields it. That it's become a how-to handbook for the tin pot dictators of history is an unfortunate side effect of its wisdom and simplicity that perhaps Machiavelli foresaw when he opted not to publish it himself. But much like Sun Tzu's The Art of War or the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, this book cannot be judged by those who have taken its instruction in the ages since it was written. This book is truly one for the ages, capable of raising our awareness of both its historical context and of the modern world around us.
I like to read but listening is better.
I don't really understand why this work and author remain so seemingly relevant in the 21st century. This wasn't quite the guide book for Realpolitik that I expected. All the Italian names and unfamiliar places were confusing. Grover Gardner, however, is excellent as usual.
Uses historical examples and a biography to demonstrate practical concepts regarding how one seeking political power must relate to those from whom he seeks power. Excellent for the price. Easy to understand.
Many talk about how Machiavellian principalities are rooted in an evil. I find them fitting for the time. The book was excellent and well performed.
The book's most famous quote is, "Better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both." Historically, this book has been both feared and loved. In its own time, some thought the work was inspired by the forces of evil because of its straight-forward discussion about statecraft, politics and war. Despite the initial fear that the book created, it has survived the test of time because of those that loved its wisdom. I once heard it said that this is Western Europe's version of the Art of War--often cold and calculating with brilliant insights into strategy. Some of the book is dated but there are many kernels of sage advice--ideas that have modern application in life and business. Every educated person should feel some obligation to read this book at least once. Like the Art of War, this book is worth re-reading once every five years or so because there is much to be gleaned from it.
Learn, understand, then decide whether you accept or reject.
This book from the infamous Niccolo Machiavelli is without pomp or controversial noise, giving you the author's inner thoughts and processes. The narrator does an excellent job with the material. If you're interested in his writings, pick it up.
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