Machiavelli’s highly influential treatise on political power
‘It is far safer to be feared than loved…’
The Prince shocked Europe on publication with its advocacy of ruthless tactics for gaining absolute power and its abandonment of conventional morality. Niccoló Machiavelli drew on his own experience of office under the turbulent Florentine republic, rejecting traditional values of political theory and recognising the complicated, transient nature of political life. Machiavelli made his name notorious for centuries with The Prince, his clever and cynical work about power relationships. The key themes of this influential, and ever timely, writer are that adaptability is the key to success and that effective leadership is sometimes only possible at the expense of moral standards.
‘Everyone should have a copy of Machiavelli’s The Prince, whose original purpose may have been to counsel Renaissance rulers in the art of statecraft but is still applicable to and, indeed, acted on by modern politicians and power-brokers’ Guardian