The Prince Study Guide

The Prince Study Guide

Original title:
Il principe
June 1st 2003 by Dante University of America Press (first published 1513)
ISBN 0937832383 (ISBN13: 9780937832387)

Political influence and power games have always been at the center of literary inspiration sources. A famous Italian political expert, Niccolo Machiavelli wrote a great treatise “The Prince” on the philosophy of politics that talks about this topic in innovative ways and unusual approaches.

The book is divided into 26 chapters that each describe different state models, various types of armies and military interventions, a role of a ruler in the military, ways for leaders to behave. Towards the end of the book, the author seriously criticizes the political situation in Italy. It is a rich source of quotes, aphorisms and common knowledge.

The book is more than a mere compilation of advice about how to rule a country, what to do and what not to do in different kinds of situations. It is a thought-provoking text that evokes leadership thinking in its readers.

The text is uncluttered and easy to read. The author shows real historical examples, different perspectives, positive and negative sides of each thesis. Machiavelli was a fierce supporter of a strong political power and was sure that there are situations that call for autocratic decisions. The truth is more important that the feelings, the right thing to do isn't always ideal, but it has to be done. Some call is cynicism, others call it being honest.

The author doesn't supply prepared solutions, but provokes dialogue with the reader. That's why the book still remains relevant to the modern readers. Its brilliance is in its simplicity and proximity. The examples the author uses demonstrate the world heritage of governance and make it easy to draw your own conclusions.

The book directly addresses Medici family. Machiavelli did a great job summarizing centuries of governance and asking those in power now to produce a leader that would learn from the previous experience and take the country to great achievements.

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