That Machiavelli's name has become synonymous with cold-eyed political calculation only heightens the intrinsic fascination of The Prince - the world's pre-eminent how-to manual on the art of getting and keeping power, and one of the literary landmarks of the Italian Renaissance. Written in a vigorous, straightforward style which reflects its author's realism, this treatise on states, statecraft, and the ideal ruler is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand how human society actually works.
Classic guide to acquiring and maintaining political power is refreshing in its directness, yet often disturbing in its cold practicality. Starkly relevant to the political upheavals of the 20th century, this calculating prescription for power remains today, nearly 500 years after it was written, a timely and startling lesson in the practice of autocratic rule.
NICCOLO MACHIAVELLI was born in Florence in 1469. In 1498, he was appointed Second Chancellor of the Florentine Republic; in 1501, he was imprisoned and tortured when the Medici returned to Florence. Upon his release, he retired to his farm to study and write.
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