As a diplomat in turbulent fifteenth-century Florence, Niccolo Machiavelli knew how quickly political fortunes could rise and fall. The Prince, his tough-minded, pragmatic handbook on how power really works, made his name notorious and has remained controversial ever since. How can a leader be strong and decisive, yet still inspire loyalty in his followers? When is it necessary to break the rules? Is it better to be feared than loved? Examining regimes and their rulers the world over and throughout history, from Roman Emperors to renaissance Popes, from Hannibal to Cesare di Borgia, Machievalli answers all these questions in a work of realpolitik that still has shrewd political lessons for today.
Tim Parks's acclaimed contemporary translation renders Machiavelli's no-nonsense original as alarming and enlightening as when it was first written. His introduction discusses Machiavelli's life and reputation, and explores the historical background to the work.
Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) was born in Florence, and served the Florentine republic as a secretary and second chancellor, as ambassador and foreign policy-maker. When the Medici family returned to power in 1512 he was suspected of conspiracy, imprisoned and tortured and forced to retire from public life. His most famous work, The Prince, was written in an attempt to gain favour with the Medicis and return to politics.
If you enjoyed The Prince, you might like Plato's Republic, also available in Penguin Classics.
'A gripping work, and a gripping translation'
Nicholas Lezard, Guardian
'Tim Parks's swift and supple new translation brings out all its chilling modernity'
Boyd Tonkin, Independent
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- Paperback | 176 pages
- 129 x 198 x 10mm | 134g
- 13 Jan 2012
- Penguin Books Ltd
- PENGUIN CLASSICS
- London, United Kingdom
- UK ed.
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01 Jan 2004
About Niccolo Machiavelli
Tim Parks was born in 1954, studied at Cambridge and Harvard, and moved to Italy in 1980. His translations from the Italian include works by Alberto Moravia, Italo Calvino and Roberto Calasso. He currently lectures on literary translation in Milan. He has written a number of novels, and his account of provincial life in Italy, Italian Neighbours, was an international bestseller.