The Prince: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Prince

1st Edition

By Riley Quinn, Ben Worthy

Macat Library

100 pages

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pub: 2017-07-15
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Description

How should rulers rule? What is the nature of power? These questions had already been asked when Niccolò Machiavelli wrote The Prince in 1513. But what made his thinking on the topic different was his ability to interpret evidence: to look at old issues and find new meaning within them.

Many of Machiavelli’s contemporaries thought that God would make sure morality was rewarded. To these people, it was inevitable that ethical individuals would enjoy success in this world and attain paradise in the next. Machiavelli was not so sure. He used the evidence of history to prove that people who can lie, cheat and murder tend to succeed.

Machiavelli concluded that three main factors affect a political leader’s success or failure. In doing so, he reached an entirely new understanding of the meaning of his evidence. Machiavelli argued that behaving in a moral way actually hinders a ruler. If everyone acted morally, he reasoned, then morals would not be a disadvantage. But in a world in which leaders are willing to be ruthless, a moral leader would make both themselves and their state vulnerable. Machiavelli’s novel interpretation posits that morals can make a leader hesitate, and this could cost them – and the citizens they are responsible for – everything.

Table of Contents

Ways in to the text Who was Machiavelli? What does The Prince say? Why does The Prince matter? Section 1: Influences Module 1: The Author and the Historical Context Module 2: Academic Context Module 3: The Problem Module 4: The Author's Contribution Section 2: Ideas Module 5: Main Ideas Module 6: Secondary Ideas Module 7: Achievement Module 8: Place in the Author's Work Section 3: Impact Module 9: The First Responses Module 10: The Evolving Debate Module 11: Impact and Influence Today Module 12: Where Next? Glossary of Terms People Mentioned in the Text Works Cited

About the Authors

Riley Quinn holds master’s degrees in politics and international relations from both LSE and the University of Oxford.

Dr Ben Worthy is Lecturer in Politics at Birkbeck, University of London. His research interests include government transparency, open data and political leadership, and he is the author of The Politics of Freedom of Information: How and Why Governments Pass Laws That Threaten Their Power.

About the Series

The Macat Library

Great Works for Critical Thinking

Making the ideas of the world’s great thinkers accessible, affordable, and comprehensible to everybody, everywhere. 

With a growing list of over 180 titles across a broad range of subject areas, Macat works with leading academics from the world’s top universities to produce new analyses that focus on the ideas and the impact of the most influential works ever written. By setting them in context – and looking at the influences that shaped their authors, as well as the responses they provoked – Macat encourages readers to look at these classics and game-changers with fresh eyes.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POL000000
POLITICAL SCIENCE / General