The Prince (Donno Translation)

The Prince (Donno Translation)

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Here 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 . . . a president.  When, in 1512, Machiavelli was removed from his post in his beloved Florence, he resolved to set down a treatise on leadership that was practical, not idealistic.  In The Prince he envisioned would be unencumbered by ordinary ethical and moral values; his prince would be man and beast, fox and lion.  Today, this small sixteenth-century masterpiece has become essential reading for every student of government, and is the ultimate book on power politics.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780553212785
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/28/1984
Series: Bantam Classics Series
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 176
Sales rank: 402,126
Product dimensions: 4.13(w) x 6.84(h) x 0.38(d)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Peter Constantine, winner of the PEN Translation Prize and a National Translation Award, has earned wide acclaim for his translation of The Undiscovered Chekhov and of the complete works of Isaac Babel, as well as for his Modern Library translations, which include The Essential Writings of Machiavelli, Gogol’s Taras Bulba, Voltaire’s Candide, and Tolstoy’s The Cossacks.
Albert Russell Ascoli is Gladys Arata Terrill Distinguished Professor of Italian Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and was awarded the Rome Prize for study at the American Academy in Rome.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

Excerpted from "The Prince"
by .
Copyright © 1984 Niccolo Machiavelli.
Excerpted by permission of Random House Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

A Note on the Translation
The Prince
Dedicatory Letter
I: How Many Are the Kinds of Principalities and in What Modes They Are Acquired
II: Of Hereditary Principalities
III: Of Mixed Principalities
IV: Why the Kingdom of Darius Which Alexander Seized Did Not Rebel from His Successors after Alexander's Death
V: How Cities or Principalities Which Lived by Their Own Laws before They Were Occupied Should Be Administered
VI: Of New Principalities That Are Acquired through One's Own Arms and Virtue
VII: Of New Principalities That Are Acquired by Others' Arms and Fortune
VIII: Of Those Who Have Attained a Principality through Crimes
IX: Of the Civil Principality
X: In What Mode the Forces of All Principalities Should Be Measured
XI: Of Ecclesiastical Principalities
XII: How Many Kinds of Military There Are and Concerning Mercenary Soldiers
XIII: Of Auxiliary, Mixed, and One's Own Soldiers
XIV: What a Prince Should Do Regarding the Military
XV: Of Those Things for Which Men and Especially Princes Are Praised or Blamed
XVI: Of Liberality and Parsimony
XVII: Of Cruelty and Mercy, and Whether It Is Better to Be Loved Than Feared, or the Contrary
XVIII: In What Mode Faith Should Be Kept by Princes
XIX: Of Avoiding Contempt and Hatred
XX: Whether Fortresses and Many Other Things Which Are Made and Done by Princes Every Day Are Useful or Useless
XXI: What a Prince Should Do to Be Held in Esteem
XXII: Of Those Whom Princes Have as Secretaries
XXIII:In What Mode Flatterers Are to Be Avoided
XXIV: Why the Princes of Italy Have Lost Their States
XXV: How Much Fortune Can Do in Human Affairs, and in What Mode It May Be Opposed
XXVI: Exhortation to Seize Italy and to Free Her from the Barbarians
App: Machiavelli's Letter of December 10, 1513
Index of Proper Names

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The Prince 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 166 reviews.
PinkJohnerton More than 1 year ago
Many Americans do not understand the motives and actions of the politicians whom they elect. The voters have expectations, but they fail to appreciate that the politicians have personal and professional agendas. THE PRINCE rips the curtain away to expose the true motivations of politicians, whether a "progressive" agenda of Barak Obama, the "left-wing liberal" bias of Nancy Pelosi, the "tea party conservative" blurts of Sarah Palin, or the vague agendas of the smilingly attractive and apparently patriotic and caring (but otherwise unknown) candidates for local school board. Despots aren't made; they're chosen. Leaders aren't born; they're made. Followers aren't created; they're the people who give away their rights and responsibilities to others who offer to think and choose for them. Machiavelli didn't invent the rules; he simply observed the rise and dominance of the most powerful family in Italian history and shared their secrets with posterity. Truth is truth, whether it describes Renaissance Venice during the time of great painters and corrupt popes or Washington DC during the time of vapid platitudes and bloated bureaucracies. EVERY management, business, political science, sociology, psychology, and education major should read this book before completing their sophomore year; otherwise, they'll miss the opportunity to manipulate minds effectively during their junior and senior years...and beyond. Because it predates the hollow pretext of "political correctness" and such laughable conceits as "unity through diversity," THE PRINCE explains what true power is, how to achieve it, how to wrest it from others and wield it effectively, and how to gain more of it at the expense of stupid people who haven't read Machiavelli. The author presumes "the why" is simple: having power beats the alternative.
stitchworthy More than 1 year ago
Had to read this book for school. Not my favorite book, but should you wish to read the classic, this is definitely the best FREE version out there.
jccowper More than 1 year ago
I am a student that read this book, The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli. I believe that this book is great for people that want to be a leader sometime in life or history buffs that want to learn more about leadership. I would not reccomend this to people that either just want a book to read to pass time or people that are not interested in the subject. I personally thought this book was good because I enjoy historical texts. Last year in my regular world history class, we read an excerpt from this book (or at least a form of this book) and I found it very interesting how Machiavelli included things such as poetic devices to incorporate with things like leadership. In case anyone doesn't know, this book was written during the Renaissance time period. Back to a point of mine made earlier, I wouldn't reccomend this to some people just because people like to complain about the length of books and that the book was boring. That would be the case with this book. I thought it was good, but honestly I was pretty bored with it after periods of reading. But we have to remember that historical texts like this were written back when times were peaceful to where now we have books about the world ending so there is a distinct difference between the two. All in all, I liked this book but it definately wasn't one of my favorites.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Machiavelli has a bad reputation but this is because people judge him by this work alone. This is because he was not wtiting about the way things should be but the way things were/are. For another view of a differing side of his thinking read his "Discourses on Livy". The Prince is a book that should be read by everyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Prince is not the heartless manual on backstabbing it is often portrayed as being. Rather Machiavelli seems most interested in issuing a wake up call to Italian leaders to get better at their jobs so as to protect Italy from becoming the plaything of foreign powers. It is interesting to note that Jefferson could read the Prince and extract not a lesson of ruthlessness, but rather the idea that a republic founded on popular support was safer and more durable than one based on the ambitions of a few selfish nobles.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The truth is I thought that this book was surprisingly not as chilling as some have made it out to be, for example, I realize that when invading befriending the weak to take down the ruler but keeping those weak powers weak is by no means a nice thing to do. But in the end I saw this book as.... optimistic maybe. One thing he said stuck with me that a great ruler(one to go down in history) is not a tyrant who increases his nations size for personal gain but for the country itself. That was on my first reading, I'll reread it and maybe with more understanding I will find it as chilling as it is made out to be.
SaraPoole on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Some authors make the bestseller lists; some win Nobel prizes; only a precious few are eternalized in the language itself. Machiavelli earned his place in our consciousness and our vocabulary with a single work, ¿The Prince¿, at once a shocking, rivetting, thought-provoking and ultimately unforgettable portrayal of power politics in the Renaissance that remains as fresh and relevant now as it was in the early 16th century. Machiavelli wrote from internal exile after losing his government position with the dissolution of the Florentine republic and the return to power of the Medicis. Having survived imprisonment and torture, he was allowed to retire to his farm where he grappled with the sudden change in his fortunes and took refuge in a study of the lessons he had learned while in government. The result was ¿The Prince¿, essentially a master plan for attaining and holding power. Most infamous for Machiavelli¿s refusal to bow to either sentiment or idealism, the handbook for the mega-ambitious stresses the essentially practical reality of power and warns that "it is often necessary to act against mercy, against faith, against humanity, against frankness, against religion, in order to preserve the state."
pjsullivan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Does Machiavelli deserve his sinister reputation? Is he advocating evil in this book? Or only describing it? His focus is not on defending, but on acquiring and governing; that is, on imperial conquest and dominance over others. This book is about aggression. He claims that human conditions do not permit princes to be good, and he is right about that. They never will. But do human conditions compel people to become princes? In seizing a state, he says, cruelty is necessary. No doubt this is true, but is seizing a state necessary? Is it moral? Machiavelli's model prince was Cesare Borgia, a ruthless imperialist, mass murderer, and rapist. Machiavelli admired him for his power, then criticized him when he lost his power. He praises King Ferdinand of Spain for his "pious cruelty," calling it an "admirable example." Yes, Machiavelli deserves his sinister reputation. He worshipped power, believing it to be beyond good and evil. This book is a portrayal of statecraft as it is practiced in the real world, but it is also a how-to book on gaining and maintaining dominance over others. It raises interesting issues, without necessarily resolving them. It can be useful as food for thought, but don't try this at home!
charlie68 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Very gritty, earthy book on the means of gaining and holding power. Deals with humans as they are as the introduction points out. A lot of the points made in the book are in use in todays politics eventhough people may not want to think so. Like every book that I think in general misses the mark, there is substantial grains of truth in it.
Ragnell on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm fascinated with politics, but I can't read this edition. The font and the paragraph structure are distracting from the actual words. My eyes would not let me finish it.
RGazala on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As has been true the past 500 years, any would-be power monger's bedside table unadorned with a copy of this slim treatise is shamefully naked. This is an excellent translation by Peter Constantine, filled with helpful footnotes and capped by a solid bibliography.
Tullius22 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I *think* this book is wicked, and I *hope* that all who choose to read it choose to see its wickedness.And I do *not* feel guilty for saying a book is Bad when I believe that its ideas would be harmful if employed against human beings. There is nothing heroic about being immoral, no matter what Shrewd Policies say so, or what Glorious Nation says so. Also, comparing Machiavelli to Baldassare Castiglione, as is often done, seems to me to be quite mad. Would it not be better to compare him with Hitler or Stalin or Mussolini or Nero or *any other Caesar*? Were not all these men Princes with a Capital P? I mean, if I were rating him based on how well he does as a propaganda writer for an imaginary dictatorship, I'd have said that he's done rather well with *all that*. But being a propaganda writer for an imaginary dictatorship is worthless, and being a real propaganda writer for a real dictorship is worse than worthless, is it not?But, oh, wait, I forgot, since it's written in a good style in some foreign original, and since its ideas would have helped the Florentine elite out-flank the Papacy and the French several eternities ago, we must surely make ourselves forget what fair flowers are trampled down into the earth by this kind of thinking. Although I'll say that I personally found it to be basically boring (especially the random-Renaissance history-of-backstabbing stuff that I found difficult to care about) and sometimes stupid (the citizens of a conquered republic will want to get their lost freedom back, but if you go to live in the same city as them, your semi-divine presence will magically make them lose their desire for freedom), stupid even from his own point of view. (If you do this, nothing good will happen for you, but if you only do this, nothing but good things will happen. It's like he's one of those guys trying to sell you a watch--like he's going to open up his coat and it'll be full of watches, and he'll say, 'Wanna buy a watch? A watch like one of these will make you powerful and strong, so that nothing bad will happen to you.' He's like a tinker or a knacker who thinks he's the Grand Doge of Doge-land.) It's also so abstract that it can't be anything other than theory (somehow I think it would have to be different to be social or political science), and yet it is so mucked up in details and precedents and examples that it's hardly good as theory, either. Not to mention the fact that he never even explains what you'd want a prince for, or what good a prince is meant to aim at. If "every art...seems to aim at some good" and all arts have some purpose (Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, first sentence) what is the purpose of the prince's art, and what good does he aim at? Machiavelli almost doesn't have an answer, and he doesn't even bother to address the question, except for the nationalist agitprop bit at the end, which I hope no-one mistakes for philosophy. Also, the odd forays into military matters are to me little more than tokens that this man did not really know what sort of book he wanted to write, or what purpose he was trying to accomplish. A dilettante, if I may use the Italian word. Although I suppose that even a dilettante, armed with delusions of gradeur and with guns in his hands, might be dangerous and harmful enough, but I certainly do not see what good might ever have come from this. Furthermore, some people seem to think that Machiavelli was good to be amoral (read that phrase again) because he 'liberated' politics from religion and morality and so on. My only reply is that no-one can compel you to read Aristotle's 'Nicomachean Ethics' before you read his 'Politics', or force you to read Epictetus before trying to get through John Locke--and yet anyone who seriously thinks that politics has no connection at all, whatsoever, with ethics, needs their head examined for holes, or dents. Or, better yet, such people should be encouraged to read a few books about the Nazis or something. 'Be generous wit
hermit_9 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The definitive classic in binary political logic. But then as someone once said, there are 10 kinds of people, those who understand binary and those who don't.
Sandydog1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Cold, calculating, and objectively cruel. You can't help but to think about today's political leaders.
06nwingert on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Prince is a staple in politics and political reading. While Machiavelli and his principals aren't the best, they're still in use today, showing the timelessness of The Prince.
bcjunior13 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Clothed in the indignation of a dearth of ethics, Machiavelli's great masterpiece was met with contempt by his contemporaries, horrified by the preponderances of this political idealist. Coining the idea that the "ends may justify the means," Machiavelli proposes that rulers should not be restrained by the bounds civilians posess hindering their actions. According to Machiavelli, rulers have the wherewithal to determine the best course of action for their constituents. Correspondingly the ruler should seek to be both loved and feared by their populous but always in the presence of clear thought and cool logic endowed with the desire to benefit their people through the best course of action available. Ultimately, the Prince should have the final say on matters choosing based on his personal digression, not the often muddled yearns of the populous.Political idealists of today's era recognize the sacrifices necessary to provide for the people. They recognize, as Machiavelli did in the dawn of the 16th Century, that executives cannot afford to be restricted by blind morality, compromising the well-being of their people. However many people claim that Machiavelli's work is too harsh, too obdurate, leaving supposedly infallible executives in control of a suppressed and subservient people. In response, Machiavelli does not openly welcome immorality. Far from it. Machiavelli offers the ability to rulers to choose an immoral action in the exhaustion of every other alternative. Only then do the ends justify the means.The Prince's only flaw is that it was written by Machiavelli as a plea for a position in the Medici regime of 16th Century Florence. The Prince was a means to an end for Machiavelli written with an air of obsequiousness commending the glories of Medici in the hopes of a return to politics. Machiavelli writes a well-thought out political treatise documenting escapes out of the political conundrums that befuddle even the most able and adroit rulers. Machiavelli's message resounds with increasing clarity as the problems facing modern executives grow increasingly cryptic.
theboylatham on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago

Six out of ten.

Typically described as a guidebook for politicians, it's insight into people and groups does make some of the lessons quite applicable to everyday life, for example dealing with workmates or family or to help understand exactly what the PM's latest communication was meant to achieve. Honestly, however, the chapters on keeping mercenaries loyal is of little benefit to anyone.

IreneF on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Other people have reviewed The Prince's content. I gave this book four stars; I would have given it five if the translation were better. This edition (Dover Thrift) is certainly economical, but the sentences are long, convoluted, and reverse subject and object. It took me a while to get through even though it runs only 71 pages. I had to sit there and wrestle with the verbiage as I went.Otherwise, thought-provoking and a handbook of international relations.
watertiger on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Some things never change, and so it is with The Prince by Machiavelli. Completely deplete of any moral concerns, this short book is the complete "how-to" manual in governing the masses through manipulation, cruelty and random acts of beneficence. A must read for anyone interested in the realms of politics. Scary stuff.
nickdreamsong on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My job requires me to function in a highly politicized work environment. I work with a large group of department heads, providing counsel on issues pertaining to the fine art of people management. Some of them are philosopher kings and others are callous despots. I have found that rereading THE PRINCE every few years reminds me of the basics. Whether the princes are in the courts of the Italian peninsula during the Renaissance or in the offices of a large corporation at the dawn of the 21st century, people with authority act in similar ways. There is much to be learned from this amazing little book.
rizeandshine on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Princely Rule for Dummies, this scientific analysis of a social system is actually well-suited as a leadership guide to anyone wishing to gain and hang onto an important position of power in many areas of life, including politics and business. In this book, Machiavelli discusses the themes of power, human nature, warcraft, free will, virtue and more. It was originally written specifically for Lorenzo de Medici with his future as well as the government of 16th century Italy in mind, and does not necessarily include an all-encompassing view of Machiavelli's political thinking. In fact, based on his other works, I think we can conclude that the author preferred a republic form of government. Even within The Prince, Machiavelli tells us the purpose of politics is to promote a common good. A prince must strive to be virtuous, but virtue (or admired trait) should never take precedence over the state. For example, while generosity may be admired by others, it can be detrimental to the future of the state and should therefore be avoided.I wasn't sure how to rate this book as I'm not a political science major nor out to get ahead in business. It was thought-provoking and actually quite easy to read, considering the time of its authorship as well as the subject matter. The author provides many examples of great and not-so-great leaders and their power struggles, as well, so I'd definitely recommend it for anyone studying politics or history.
mrs.starbucks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I highlighted this book like crazy. It's not necessarily that I agree with what he says in practice, but rather that the principles which he enumerates can be redefined and reused in a modern context, replacing "the prince" with "the people." I could write a long, lengthy treatise on the matter. I will say though that move of it is taken up in examples which are rather tedious in the process of reading itself.
endersreads on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Machiavelli's beautiful little treatise was an act of patriotism to the despairing Italy, not to mention a sort of present for the Medici in Machiavelli's hopes for job opportunity. I find it is a most interesting and enjoyable, if not down right delightful read. I'm 100% positive America's Left and Right (or, more precisely the power that creates the illusion of a Left and Right) practice Machiavellian tactics day in and day out. This manual has a notoriously famous list of readers that you could probably guess. I hope the rebellion that is being born will not need to use Machiavelli's political tactics, but to overcome the current powers, it may well be a necessary evil. Enjoy, be sure that your leaders did and that they have quite handsomely prospered from Niccolo!
Goodwillbooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Interesting book - always portrayed as a bloody, gory story about an individual, it is in fact more of a textbook for the aspiring prince (written as a missive to the Medicis who had been returned to power in Florence, by Machiavelli, who was hoping to regain a position himself in their court). It refers rather bluntly to certain acts which would be required of anyone in such a position - such as elimination of threats and their families - but not in any graphic manner. It is a dispassionate treatment, but fascinating for all that.
ragwaine on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Just too dry. If you read it slow and took notes it would probably be good.