The Prince

The Prince is a classic book that explores the attainment, maintenance, and utilization of political power in the western world. Machiavelli wrote The Prince to demonstrate his skill in the art of the state, presenting advice on how a prince might acquire and hold power. Machiavelli defended the notion of rule by force rather than by law. Accordingly, The Prince seems to rationalize a number of actions done solely to perpetuate power. It is an examination of power-its attainment, development, and successful use.

Machiavelli always shows up on strong lists of books you must read. Any collegiate list of repute will have The Prince prominently displayed. I always assumed it was a novel akin to Tolstoy–something political, long, and aristocratic. But fiction, nonetheless.

I couldn’t have been more wrong. The Prince is essentially Medieval Poli-Sci. It isn’t so much a book about one particular prince, as it is about how to BE one. And not even just any old, run-of-the-mill “my daddy was king and now I am king too,” but how to be royalty if you were once a common citizen.

Read this book! Become a PRINCE YOURSELF!

Makes you wonder who Stephen Colbert was in 1500, marketing this stuff. Donald Trump would have eaten it up.

Jokes aside, I didn’t really see today’s modern applications to this and why it is on so many need-to-read lists. But then, I’m not running for political office or running a Fortune 500 company. I suppose I’m not exactly the target market for an old Italian manual on hostile takeovers.

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