January 03, 2010

History Lesson for Leaders

Niccolo Machiavelli: The Prince

Niccolo Machiavelli's famous work The Prince (written in 1513, published in 1532) is about how a prince ( a leader) might gain and keep power. It's a clear and logic study about the political and military power. Machiavelli argues with many examples from the past, he mentions for example Rome, Athen or Sparta several times, he writes about Alexander the Great or the emperors of Rome. But he also mentions the political and military event of his own present. Anyway, the military aspects plays a very important role in this work.

It was very interesting and a bit surprising for me, that this work is rather an analysis, than a guide for princes, Machiavelli analyses and compares the different ways of leading a state, evenhe talks about the different types of states very cleary and logic. It would be very easy to prepare for an exam from it. (Dont't forget, many famous philosophical works are really hard to understand! But this book is not that type.)

And also Machiavelli writes a price should study history, and he should learn from the mistakes of other prices (either in the pas or inthe present) too.

Interesting book, but as a woman I'm bit angry because of an only one sentence:

"For my part I consider that it is better to be adventurous than cautious, because fortune is a woman, and if you wish to keep her under it is necessary to beat and ill-use her; and it is seen that she allows herself to be mastered by the adventurous rather than by those who go to work more coldly."
- no comment.

This review was written for the Really Old Classics Challenge. Read more here....

1 megjegyzés:

Rebecca Reid said...

Thanks for this post because I've been considering reading this. Good to keep in mind that he's a bit sexist, to say the least...makes me wonder about his political analysis...

Thanks for joining the Really Old Classics challenge!

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