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.
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).
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.
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.
The translation by W.K. Marriott is superb when I compared to others and the narrator is a perfect fit for this book. But if your history is good it might not be good enough and a refresher pre my next reading of this book is a must.
I grew up on Golden Age Radio, and while I love to read, I typically consume more books via audio thanks to a job that lets me listen while I work. As an aspiring writer, I try to read a great deal of non-fiction in addition to a variety of fictional genres. I especially love history, historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and old-style gothic horror.
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.
Machiavelli explains politicians like George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Ronald Regan, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, and others I've lived with or studied, better than any modern political scientist or historian I've read.
Machiavelli, of course.
Don't miss it if you care about modern politics and history.
"Every C Level exec read this book" Well maybe a read is beter a listen is dry as toast.
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