Thursday, November 13, 2008
85. "The Prince" - Niccolo Machiavelli
Insert evil cackle here - I found a way to connect the dots. In A Thread of Grace, there is a scene where a character is about to be tortured, and he comforts himself with the fact that Machiavelli went through the same torture and lived to write The Prince, though it was through dictation.
What interested me the most was the dedication to the Medici family. Readers of this blog may remember my fascination with the family (and subsequent scouring of books). I did not know that Machiavelli was another one of the family's "pets."
This is not a book about a prince nor is it fiction. It's an examination of the role of a prince in military, history, and personality. Or, as others believe, it is a satire on the same subjects. Published in 1532 after Machiavelli's death, we may never know his true purpose in writing about this subject.
However, it's the root of many beliefs today. For example, it is better to be feared than loved by your subjects. Also, a prince should discern good advice from bad. Throw in some history (Greeks, Romans, British) and it is a recipe for a perfect prince. You have heard of the term, machiavellian, right?
3.0 out of 5.0 Petit Zincs.
79-85 covered. 86 - the next "prince" of the United States (President-elect Barack Obama). I made a promise to read one of his books when he was elected. From there, we'll see where "hope" takes me.