The Prince is program for those who want to rule (dedicated To the Magnificent Lorenzo Di Piero De’ Medici.) and it is still applicable for modern times in some respect. Machiavelli is what we call "real" politician and he has so bad reputation so I just wanted to find some intimidating parts in his original book. there are two important things for understanding of this kind of book. First, we have to be aware that Machiavelli lived in most cruel times and second, he wrote about how to govern in such a time.
The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli:
So this is my assessment of this book The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli according to my 7 criteria:
1. Related to practice - 2 stars
2. It prevails important - 3 stars
3. I agree with the read - 3 stars
4. not difficult to read (as for non English native) - 2 stars (old English language structure very difficult to read)
5. too long and boring story or every sentence is interesting - 3 stars
6. Learning opportunity - 3 stars
7. Dry and uninspired style of writing - Smooth style with humouristic and fun parts - 2 stars
Total 2,57 stars
Here are few quotations from the book so that reader of this review can have feelings what is this book about:
▪ For as those who make maps of countries place themselves low down in the plains to study the character of mountains and elevated lands, and place themselves high up on the mountains to get a better view of the plains, so in like manner to understand the People a man should be a Prince, and to have a clear notion of Princes he should belong to the People.
▪ But when States are acquired in a country differing in language, usages, and laws, difficulties multiply, and great good fortune, as well as address, is needed to overcome them. One of the best and most efficacious methods for dealing with such a State, is for the Prince who acquires it to go and dwell there in person, since this will tend to make his tenure more secure and lasting. This course has been followed by the Turk with regard to Greece,
▪ In short, where the Prince resides in person, it will be extremely difficult to oust him.
▪ In dealing with the countries of which they took possession the Romans diligently followed the methods I have described. They planted colonies, conciliated weaker powers without adding to their strength, humbled the great, and never suffered a formidable stranger to acquire influence.
▪ you ought never to suffer your designs to be crossed in order to avoid war, since war is not so to be avoided, but is only deferred to your disadvantage
▪ Whence we may draw the general axiom, which never or rarely errs, that he who is the cause of another’s greatness is himself undone, since he must work either by address or force, each of which excites distrust in the person raised to power.
▪ And let it be noted that there is no more delicate matter to take in hand, nor more dangerous to conduct, nor more doubtful in its success, than to set up as a leader in the introduction of changes.
▪ For he who innovates will have for his enemies all those who are well off under the existing order of things, and only lukewarm supporters in those who might be better off under the new
▪ Hence it comes that all armed Prophets have been victorious, and all unarmed Prophets have been destroyed.
▪ the example of Hiero the Syracusan. He from a private station rose to be Prince of Syracuse, and he too was indebted to Fortune only for his opportunity.
▪ he (Cesare Borgia) told me himself on the day on which (pope)Julius II was created, that he had foreseen and provided for everything else that could happen on his father’s death, but had never anticipated that when his father died he too should be at death’s-door.
▪ And here comes in the question whether it is better to be loved rather than feared, or feared rather than loved. It might perhaps be answered that we should wish to be both; but since love and fear can hardly exist together, if we must choose between them, it is far safer to be feared than loved
▪ But, above all, he (the Prince) must abstain from the property of others. For men will sooner forget the death of their father than the loss of their patrimony. A Prince, as I have said before, sooner becomes hated by being rapacious and by interfering with the property and with the women of his subjects, than in any other way.
▪ if he have good arms he will always have good allies;
▪ clearing his Kingdom of the Moors; than which exploit none could be more wonderful or uncommon. Using the same pretext he made war on Africa, invaded Italy, and finally attacked France; and being thus constantly busied in planning and executing vast designs, he kept the minds of his subjects in suspense and admiration, and occupied with the results of his actions, which arose one out of another in such close succession as left neither time nor opportunity to oppose them.
▪ I think it may be the case that Fortune is the mistress of one half our actions, and yet leaves the control of the other half, or a little less, to ourselves.
▪ Prince who rests wholly on Fortune is ruined when she changes.
▪ Moreover, I believe that he will prosper most whose mode of acting best adapts itself to the character of the times;
▪ To be brief, I say that since Fortune changes and men stand fixed in their old ways, they are prosperous so long as there is congruity between them, and the reverse when there is not.
▪ For Fortune is a woman who to be kept under must be beaten and roughly handled; and we see that she suffers herself to be more readily mastered by those who so treat her than by those who are more timid in their approaches. And always, like a woman, she favours the young, because they are less scrupulous and fiercer, and command her with greater audacity.