The Prince

The Prince

Book - 1998 | 2nd ed.
Average Rating:
Rate this:
The most famous book on politics ever written, The Prince remains as lively and shocking today as when it was written almost five hundred years ago. Initially denounced as a collection of sinister maxims and a recommendation of tyranny, it has more recently been defended as the first scientific treatment of politics as it is practiced rather than as it ought to be practiced. Harvey C. Mansfield's brilliant translation of this classic work, along with the new materials added for this edition, make it the definitive version of The Prince , indispensable to scholars, students, and those interested in the dark art of politics.

This revised edition of Mansfield's acclaimed translation features an updated bibliography, a substantial glossary, an analytic introduction, a chronology of Machiavelli's life, and a map of Italy in Machiavelli's time.

"Of the other available [translations], that of Harvey C. Mansfield makes the necessary compromises between exactness and readability, as well as providing an excellent introduction and notes."?Clifford Orwin, The Wall Street Journal

"Mansfield's work . . . is worth acquiring as the best combination of accuracy and readability."? Choice

"There is good reason to assert that Machiavelli has met his match in Mansfield. . . . [He] is ready to read Machiavelli as he demands to be read?plainly and boldly, but also cautiously."?John Gueguen, The Sixteenth Century Journal
Publisher: Chicago, Ill. : University of Chicago Press, 1998.
Edition: 2nd ed.
ISBN: 9780226500430
Branch Call Number: 320.1 MACHIAVE 1998
Characteristics: xxxi, 151 p. : ill. ; 21 cm.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Apr 08, 2020

I doubt Tupac actually read this book. and if he did he didnt understand it

Apr 25, 2019

A book written by Italian diplomat Machiavelli outlining the best qualities of a leader specifically those in politics like kings and presidents. In the book there is much discussion of traits of a good leader that are seen as morally questionable today. The book tackles topics such as whether it is better to be feared than loved and what one must do in order to maintain power so that effective decisions can be made for the people. Because of the content of this book and its first hand historical example it is often shunned by some scholars and praised by others. This book is definitely worth a read if you want to understand human nature better and learn the qualities of an effective leader. This book deserves a 4/5 since it explains how power works in a detailed manuscript coupled with examples. Though I found the book morally questionable at times I understood Machiavelli meant for the greater good. This book will appeal to those who find themselves wondering what is best for the most people or on a smaller scale this book may be enjoyable to those who want to understand the times and world Machiavelli lived in since it is a book with fictional characters who vaguely resemble real life people that existed in Machiavelli's time. @selfhelpguru of the Hamilton Public Library Teen Review Board

VaughanPLDavidB Dec 01, 2018

I re-visited this after 35 years and came to the same conclusion: a greater knowledge of the history of the period would have made it much easier to understand. What I had no problem understanding was the last chapter: sucking up to those in power never goes out of style.

Mar 02, 2018

Central lesson here is that the end shall justify the means. This isn't always true in some case.

Dec 31, 2017

Some might find this book cold, but it is quite logical, if you accept Machiavelli's assumptions. It helps to try to imagine the world as it was five centuries ago. I was particularly intrigued by his argument as to how religion can be a useful tool for rulers.
This is one of those classics that I waited entirely too long to read. If you're interested in theories of government, or a guide to governing, as Machiavelli intended, whether in other countries or in our own currently hyperpartisan country, this is a good one to read.

Sep 23, 2017

This little book is basically boring; it is touted as an instruction manual lfor gaining and maintaining power--the tenets might have worked in the days when Italian men wore pantaloons and codpieces(I imagine they still do--they carry purses and are generally pretty limp-wristed) and big frilly lace collars. George Washington is a much better example of how to maintain; and give up power.

Jan 26, 2017

Very interesting read on how best to rule a principality in a multitude of circumstances and pertaining to many difficulties and questions a person might have so as to help a ruler understand what the best course of action may be in their case by looking towards the past.
Most of book has knowledge that I personally will likely never use in my life, but it was more captivating than I thought it would be. I liked the second half of the book more than the first, where Machiavelli explains how a Prince should act and such- I could relate to it more than the parts describing the best military to have and such.
Good book, especially if you're into (Renaissance Age) politics.
Oh! Apparently if you have to choose between being feared and loved, also choose fear, but if you have the opportunity to achieve the status of both, seize it.
And above all, it doesn't matter if you are feared or loved, so long as you are not hated.
Very interesting indeed

Jul 21, 2016

The Prince is one of my favorite books of all. Having been in a leadership role before, I found this book to be a veritable manual for quality leadership and of human nature. While Machiavelli's applications of the leadership he expounds upon are clearly corrupt and tyrannous, when the reader looks not at his applications, but at his principles, great truths appear. Yes, what the reader sees in the book are the ultimate extremes of strong leadership, without the guidance of virtue, love, or grace. But in between these corrupt, power-hungry extensions, of Machiavelli's own addition, I found myself constantly underlining quotes of great value, and not tasting of corruption at all. There, qualities such as industriousness, avoidance of hatred, active and constant search for truth, and consistency of character.

Feb 26, 2016

A great translation. After reading this- I can see how people try and shoehorn Machiavelli's template for ruling as Prince into ruling a business. After reading this - I can also see how misguided that shoehorning is. A fascinating take on how to get and maintain power, I'm interested in reading his Discourses to see his take on republic rule instead of monarch

7Liberty7 Nov 14, 2014

Machiavelli's "The Prince" can be summed up in a few words: "The 16th Century Manuel to Get and Preserve Personal Power."

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability
7Liberty7 Nov 14, 2014

7Liberty7 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings

HCPLC owns a similar edition of this title.

View originally-listed edition

Report edition-matching error

To Top