The Prince (Mansfield translation) / Edition 2

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Overview


The most famous book on politics ever written, The Prince remains as lively and shocking today as when it was written almost five hundred years ago. Initially denounced as a collection of sinister maxims and a recommendation of tyranny, it has more recently been defended as the first scientific treatment of politics as it is practiced rather than as it ought to be practiced. Harvey C. Mansfield's brilliant translation of this classic work, along with the new materials added for this edition, make it the definitive version of The Prince, indispensable to scholars, students, and those interested in the dark art of politics.

This revised edition of Mansfield's acclaimed translation features an updated bibliography, a substantial glossary, an analytic introduction, a chronology of Machiavelli's life, and a map of Italy in Machiavelli's time.

"Of the other available [translations], that of Harvey C. Mansfield makes the necessary compromises between exactness and readability, as well as providing an excellent introduction and notes."—Clifford Orwin, The Wall Street Journal

"Mansfield's work . . . is worth acquiring as the best combination of accuracy and readability."—Choice

"There is good reason to assert that Machiavelli has met his match in Mansfield. . . . [He] is ready to read Machiavelli as he demands to be read—plainly and boldly, but also cautiously."—John Gueguen, The Sixteenth Century Journal

Described as a practical rule-book for the diplomat and a handbook of evil, this work provides an uncompromising picture of the true nature of power.

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Editorial Reviews

John Gueguen
There is good reason to assert that Machiavelli has met his match in Mansfield.
Sixteenth Century Journal
Library Journal
First published in 1517, this classic treatise on the art of practical politics remains a fascinating and powerful work. Laying down uncompromising guidelines for successful leadership, Machiavelli leaves no room for indecision or weakness, and his text comes alive in the voice of actor Fritz Weaver. The narrator's performance is energetic and committed, heightening the dramatic impact of such controversial mandates as the necessary destruction of all the members of a ruling family, of inflicting violence once and for all, or of acting cruelly for the sake of unity. The text is prefaced by the unidentified translator's enlightening introduction. The packaging is aesthetically appealing but flimsy. Definitely recommended for academic and large public libraries.

--Sister M. Anna Falbo CSSF, Villa Maria College Library, Buffalo. N.Y.

Library Journal
First published in 1517, this classic treatise on the art of practical politics remains a fascinating and powerful work. Laying down uncompromising guidelines for successful leadership, Machiavelli leaves no room for indecision or weakness, and his text comes alive in the voice of actor Fritz Weaver. The narrator's performance is energetic and committed, heightening the dramatic impact of such controversial mandates as the necessary destruction of all the members of a ruling family, of inflicting violence once and for all, or of acting cruelly for the sake of unity. The text is prefaced by the unidentified translator's enlightening introduction. The packaging is aesthetically appealing but flimsy. Definitely recommended for academic and large public libraries.

--Sister M. Anna Falbo CSSF, Villa Maria College Library, Buffalo. N.Y.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226500430
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/1998
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 184
  • Sales rank: 701,515
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Read an Excerpt

The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli

Seventeenth Chapter: Concerning Cruelty and Clemency, and Whether It Is Better to Be Loved Than Feared

...Upon this a question arises: whether it be better to be loved than feared or feared than loved? It may be answered that one should wish to be both, but, because it is difficult to unite them in one person, it is much safer to be feared than loved, when, of the two, either must be dispensed with. Because this is to be asserted in general of men, that they are ungrateful, fickle, false, cowardly, covetous, and as long as you succeed, they are yours entirely; they will offer you their blood, property, life, and children, as is said above, when the need is far distant; but when it approaches they turn against you. And that prince, who, relying entirely on their promises, has neglected other precautions, is ruined; because friendships that are obtained by payments, and not by greatness or by nobility of mind, may indeed be earned, but they are not secured, and in time of need cannot be relied upon; and men have less scruple in offending one who is beloved than one who is feared, for love is preserved by the link of obligation which, owing to the baseness of men, is broken at every opportunity for their advantage; but fear preserves you by a dread of punishment which never fails....

Twenty-First Chapter: How a Prince Should Conduct Himself So as to Gain Renown

...A prince is also respected when he is either a true friend or a downright enemy, that is to say, when, without any reservation, he declares himself in favour of one party against the other; which course will always be more advantageous than standing neutral; because if two of your powerful neighbours come to blows, they are of such a character that, if one of them conquers, you have either to fear him or not. In either case it will always be more advantageous for you to declare yourself and to make war strenously; because, in the first case, if you do not declare yourself, you will invariably fall a prey to the conqueror, to the pleasure and satisfaction of his who has been conquered, and you will have no reasons to offer, nor anything to protect or to shelter you. Because he who conquers does not want doubtful friends who will not aid him in the time of trial; and he who loses will not harbour you because you did not willingly, sword in hand, court his fate....

Translation by: W.K. Marriott

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Table of Contents


Introduction
A Note on the Translation
Chronology
Map
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
Glossary
Bibliography
Index of Proper Names
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 174 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(73)

4 Star

(46)

3 Star

(23)

2 Star

(14)

1 Star

(18)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 131 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 24, 2010

    Ashlee, a student at The Gereau Center

    The Prince is a very long "how to" essay written by Machiavelli and addressed to Lorenzo de'Medici. It was designed to help Lorenzo, a prince, rule his country. The essay has also been looked at by government officials, whether they be princes or presidents or congressmen, around the world to help with the governing of their state or country. The book has many literary devices in it, but the most notable of them are: descriptive chapter titles, allusions, and the metaphors. Machiavelli titles his chapters so they describe the very thing that the chapters will entail. It's almost as if you can read just the title of the chapter and feel like you could tell someone exactly what the chapter is about. For example, the chapter title, "Of Cruelty and Mercy, and Whether It Is Better To Be Loved Than Feared, or the Contrary." Machiavelli also uses allusion to explain the point he is making in whichever chapter he is making the point in. He makes points and then supports them with someone who has done the opposite or the same as the point he is making. He does this to express the validity of his beliefs of ruling. He refers to Alexander the Great and Ceaser. Machiavelli also includes metaphors all throughout the book. For example, "Thus, whoever examines minutely the actions of this man will find him a very fierce lion and a very astute fox."I don't personally have a favorite or worst part of the book because I didn't really enjoy reading any part of the book. However there are many valid points concerning leadership in the book.

    8 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 14, 2009

    Death in a Book

    If you are looking for a way to torture your children, making them read this book is the best advice I can give you. This book was torture reading. The vocabulary was hard for me to understand, along with the many concepts he had on how to be a successful prince. It's not a very long book but when I read it, it seemed like it would never end. He repeats the same concept over and over in different ways, making it harder to understand. Also, the way he writes is very confusing. I do not recommend this book at all, unless you enjoy reading, history, and a challenge.

    2 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2014

    Essential book

    Loved it..

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  • Posted July 16, 2013

    I found it impossible to read this. It was by far the most borin

    I found it impossible to read this. It was by far the most boring work I have ever laid eyes on. Tedious does not even begin to explain the writing. It goes on and on about nothing.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2013

    Extremely disappointed - not suggested for academic use

    While this e-book was wonderfully translated, it lacked a lot of information about Empress Theodora. When trying to find bountiful information about her, I implore you to not buy this e-book.

    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2013

    Seth here

    Hay mag i think i got locked out

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2013

    SETH TALEXO TO CHELSE

    Hay i am here are u

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2012

    Okay but not my cup of tea

    This is not something I would keep in my bookshelf. I can see why people would consider this a classic, but for me this is too repetitive and not very cohesive in my opinion. Then again, this is a letter and it is written very well and it is organized into sections. Overall, it was not an exciting read for me for a high school summer assignment.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2012

    Why is the cover Cesare Borgia?

    Why is the cover Cesare Borgia?

    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2012

    In school

    Reading it in school so boring.about middle age politics.

    0 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2012

    The italian history

    The parts where someone was once famous but is any more where s little tricky

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 8, 2011

    Excellent!!!

    Every thoughtful person should have have this book in their home or on their nook!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 17, 2011

    An interesting classic

    "A Prince ought to have no other aim or thought, nor select anything else for his study, than war and its rules and discipline; for this is the sole art that belongs to him who rules, and it is of such force that it not only upholds those who are born princes, but it often enables men to rise from a private station to that rank".

    The previous paragraph is just one of many eye popping statements in this little yet powerful book written about half a millennium ago. I have to be very honest when I say I had no clue what I was getting into when I picked it up. I actually did so because a good friend read it and told me she was very impressed with Machiavelli's ruthlessness. The classic philosophy of "The ends justify the means" gets perfectly displayed in this manual for tyrants.

    When Machavelli refers to a "Prince" he refers to the ruler of a territory, regardless of its title or the way such a territory was obtained. When reading this book you have to do your best to set yourself in 1513, when it was written and the principles of democracy and international law were not what they are today. But still, it is an essay where sanguinariness is just a byproduct of your need to rule a territory and its people.

    I was mesmerized by the specific instructions on how to dominate a principality based on the different ways you came to rule it. You cringe as you pass the pages and it touches on the best armies to have and how to make them willing to die for you, how mean you have to be in order to be respected, how to balance being loved and feared by your people and even how to keep your subjects distracted by factions and fostering enmities. It is funny when he specifically states he does not want to get to deep into the princes of the Church but still touches on the wickedness of the rulings of the Popes and their powers.

    The more you get into it this book, the more you feel that Dick Cheney read it just before ordering his puppet George W. Bush to invade Iraq for no justifiable reason. As you flip the pages you see the script that tyrants like Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez have been using to subdue their people in order to keep themselves afloat.

    I still wonder what was the original audience of this book was when it was originally written.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 23, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    ok

    ok book

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 12, 2011

    Great for a Civis and Free Enterprise class!

    loved this book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2010

    An Amazing Read

    The Prince is full of strategy that is as useful to us today as when it was written long ago. Human psychology really doesn't change over time, so the principals work just as well now as then. This book should be read by anyone in a competitive field-you can be assured your competition has probably already read it. Machiavelli's advice is practical and has been easy to put into practice in my own life.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Machiavellin

    I've wanted to read this book all my life and finally a few weeks ago the word "Machiavellin" came up in the Sunday L.A. Times Crossword Puzzle so I immediately purchased "The Prince." Fantastic, Eye-Opening, Thought provoking, it's a masterpiece. Eerie cover though. Reminds me of a picture that they place in all the rooms at New York New York in Vegas. eek! I had to cover it with a towel so I could sleep.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    damn fine book

    The Prince is an excellent book to read. Anyone who wishes to ever lead an organization or even a country should read this book as it is a step by step manual to good leadership. A great read.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 14, 2009

    Positive of Negative?

    The Prince was a very difficult book for me to read. Machiavelli's grammar has much to be desired. Thus making his thought process rather difficult to follow. The concepts behind his book, though, is very thought provoking. Yet sometimes, it felt as if he was stating the subtle obvious. Its as if he was writing down concepts that you knew, but really didnt realize it. I did not enjoy reading this book, but many people might. Especially those that are interested in politics.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2007

    A Practical 'Ruling Guidelines for Dummies'

    The Prince is a definite must read. This masterpiece could be called today¿s practical 'Ruling Guidelines for Dummies' book. If one desires to enter the field of politics, The Prince is a sure way towards political success. This book will take the reader through the constructive yet clever steps for ruling successfully, and also provide the reader with revelations about human tendencies, that will prove to be helpful in multiple aspects of life.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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