Books

Book 44: The Prince – Niccolo Machiavelli

I think this was required reading in High School for one of my classes, or I may have switched out of that class, but long story short I never read it. I bought the book and ended up packing the book up in one of my random boxes of books and only found it this past winter when I was looking for another book and I took it home to Boston and finally got around to reading it.

I’m not going to pretend I understood most of the novel, but I realize the further I get away from reading it that I understood more than I thought I did. The last half was a lot easier to understand as it had less to do with the people and princes of the time. Without an intimate knowledge of the princes and people it was a bit difficult to follow things.

The forward by Christian Gauss was perhaps the most interesting bit of the book to me as it was a who’s who of world leaders from dictators to presidents. Gauss did a great job of breaking down the book and explaining how it’s still as viable today as it was then.

Perhaps because I’ve read a lot of fantasy/fiction novels about power struggles often including monarchies a lot of what Machiavelli said made perfect sense and came across as common sense, but clearly when he was writing it was a time of turmoil and change.

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