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Publisher's Summary

The Prince has long been both praised and reviled for its message of moral relativism and political expediency. Although a large part is devoted to the mechanics of gaining and staying in power, Machiavelli's end purpose is to maintain a just and stable government. He is not ambiguous in stating his belief that committing a small cruelty to avert a larger one is not only justifiable, but required of a just ruler.

Machiavelli gives a vivid portrayal of his world: the chaos and tumult of early 16th-century Florence, Italy and Europe. He uses both his contemporary political situation and that of the classical period to illustrate his precepts of statecraft.

© and (P)2002 Tantor Media, Inc. Originally published 1916.

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