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The Prince



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Penguin Classics
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  • The Prince
    The Prince
  • The Prince
    The Prince
  • The Prince
    The Prince


"This political science classic still has the power to shock, just as it did when first published almost five hundred years ago. Fritz Weaver reads in an appropriately detached manner, for it is this air of objectivity regarding the ruthless pursuit of political power that has made Machiavelli's name synonymous with evil. This quality recording begins and ends with ceremonial music, which sets the right tone for a treatise directed to royalty. A masterpiece of prophecy, psychological insight, and forceful prose, "The Prince "is a classic of realpolitik, stunningly relevant to our times.

Author Biography

Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527) was a Florentine statesman who was later forced out of public life. He then devoted himself to studying and writing political philosophy, history, fiction, and drama.

George Bull is an author and journalist who has translated six volumes for the Penguin Classics: Benvenuto Cellini’s Autobiography, The Book of the Courtier by Castiglione, Vasari’s Lives of the Artists (two volumes), The Prince by Machiavelli and Pietro Aretino’s Selected Letters. He is also Consultant Editor to the Penguin Business Series. After reading history at Brasenose College, Oxford, George Bull worked for the Financial Times, McGraw-Hill World News, and for the Director magazine, of which he was Editor-in-Chief until 1984. His other books include Vatican Politics; Bid for Power (with Anthony Vice), a history of take-over bids; Renaissance Italy, a book for children; Venice: The Most Triumphant City; and Inside the Vatican.

Table of Contents

Chronologyp. ix
Mapp. xiii
Introductionp. xv
Further Readingp. xxx
Translator's Notep. xxxii
Letter to the Magnificent Lorenzo de Medicip. 3
How many kinds of principality there are and the ways in which they are acquiredp. 7
Hereditary principalitiesp. 7
Composite principalitiesp. 8
Why the kingdom of Darius conquered by Alexander did not rebel against his successors after his deathp. 15
How cities or principalities which lived under their own laws should be administered after being conqueredp. 18
New principalities acquired by one's own arms and prowessp. 19
New principalities acquired with the help of fortune and foreign armsp. 22
Those who come to power by crimep. 28
The constitutional principalityp. 32
How the strength of every principality should be measuredp. 35
Ecclesiastical principalitiesp. 37
Military organization and mercenary troopsp. 40
Auxiliary, composite, and native troopsp. 44
How a prince should organize his militiap. 47
The things for which men, and especially princes, are praised or blamedp. 50
Generosity and parsimonyp. 51
Cruelty and compassion; and whether it is better to be loved than feared, or the reversep. 53
How princes should honour their wordp. 56
The need to avoid contempt and hatredp. 58
Whether fortresses and many of the other present-day expedients to which princes have recourse are useful or notp. 67
How a prince must act to win honourp. 71
A prince's personal staffp. 74
How flatterers must be shunnedp. 75
Why the Italian princes have lost their statesp. 77
How far human affairs are governed by fortune, and how fortune can be opposedp. 79
Exhortation to liberate Italy from the barbariansp. 82
Glossary of Proper Namesp. 86
Notesp. 98
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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