The Prince: A Round Table Comic

Overview

An illustrated adaptation of Niccolo Machiavelli's best-known book on acquiring and keeping political power. To retain power, a prince who inherits his throne must maintain the socio-political institutions to which his people are accustomed; however, a prince who is voted into power must first build a foundation for the future, requiring the willingness to act immorally and use brute force and deceit as necessary.

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Overview

An illustrated adaptation of Niccolo Machiavelli's best-known book on acquiring and keeping political power. To retain power, a prince who inherits his throne must maintain the socio-political institutions to which his people are accustomed; however, a prince who is voted into power must first build a foundation for the future, requiring the willingness to act immorally and use brute force and deceit as necessary.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"If I were to teach high school humanities again, I would replace our textbook readings with Clester’s adaptation of The Prince in a heartbeat – not as a parallel text for reluctant or struggling readers, but as the core text for students at all reading levels to get a first exposure to Machiavelli’s ideas." (August 5, 2011)
—Dr. Sean Kottke; Dean, Binda School of Education, The Robert B. Miller College

"With thoughtful illustrations and intuitive insight, Clester does indeed – and brilliantly so – translate Machiavelli's advice for modern readers. A clear master of the comic book format, Clester's graphic novel breathes new life into a once seemingly out of date or somewhat dry text. Complete with verbal and visual lessons that explain the nuances between what a young leader should or should not do, or, better yet, appear to do or not do, this graphic novel earns an A+."

-Katie Monnin, PhD, assistant professor of literacy, University of North Florida, Diamond Bookshelf, 9/12/11

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781610660167
  • Publisher: Writers Of The Round Table Press
  • Publication date: 10/16/2011
  • Pages: 80
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Preface


INTRODUCTION BY SHANE CLESTER

“It’s better to be feared than loved.”

That phrase is about all I knew about Machiavelli’s The Prince when I first started to adapt it into this comic. Every once in awhile, someone would throw around the phrase “Machiavellian” when a person would concoct some elaborate scheme to advance his or her station in life. While I understood the intent, I didn’t really know the meaning. And I thought, how relevant could philosophies from the 1500s be, anyway?

Turns out they’re just as relevant today. Machiavelli’s advice for “Princes” from the 1500s is just as applicable to leaders and those who hold any sort of power today. The examples he cites to illustrate his points, taken from ancient Greece to Renaissance France, have parallels in such venues as the business and politics of modern society.

As I was working on this, the Egyptian people were having serious doubts about their president, Hosni Mubarak. Every day I would draw a page about how to handle similar situations, and every day Mubarak would do the opposite. Hosni Mubarak is no longer the president of Egypt.

People often criticize Machiavelli as being overly shrewd at best—or even cruel and cutthroat. I feel this is too succinct and dismissive of Machiavelli, his writing and his intent. Most certainly cynical and sardonic, Machiavelli is a pragmatist first: committed to observation, human nature, history and the facts.
They may not be nice, they may not be pretty, but here they are; learn from them.

While Machiavelli’s flair for language made adapting this comic a great gig, it also afforded me the opportunity to draw all kinds of fun stuff, which is really why you get into drawing in the first place. Knights, vikings, a Minotaur, the creation of Adam, Leonardo da Vinci. And pantaloons. Good God, I love drawing pantaloons. People often ask me what I like to draw, and never once have I thought to answer “pantaloons.” These effete Renaissance-era roosters with their flippy hair and silly pomp proved to be some of the most fun I’ve ever had drawing.

You may or may not learn how to topple governments or navigate the intricacies of political discourse, but I hope you enjoy reading this book half as much as I enjoyed working on it.

Lastly, I’d like to thank a certain raven-haired beauty for her friendship and support while I worked on this. You certainly improved the view from my drawing board.

Pantaloons!

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