"Book Report: The Prince"

The Prince book cover The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli What intrigues me about this book is that it marked a sharp change in philosophical thinking-- making a break from idealism, and instead focusing on realism. While Machiavelli may have simply been trying to compose his way into friendship with the leaders of Florence, his work has endured and has been an inspiration for many fearsome leaders. The book was such a deviation, in fact, that the Church banned it shortly after it was published. The Prince explores the logic and reasoning a leader should employ when conquering new lands and maintaining those he already has. Machiavelli gives no moral weight to right and wrong, but recommends that goal-oriented logic dictate all of one's actions: >"Hence it is necessary for a prince wishing to hold his own to know how to do wrong, and to make use of it or not according to necessity." Notable individuals who drew lessons from Machiavelli include Napoleon, Adolf Hitler, and probably several modern-day politicians who won't otherwise admit it.

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