The Prince and Other WritingsBook - 2003
- New introductions commissioned from today's top writers and scholars
- Biographies of the authors
- Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events
- Footnotes and endnotes
- Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work
- Comments by other famous authors
- Study questions to challenge the reader's viewpoints and expectations
- Bibliographies for further reading
- Indices & Glossaries, when appropriate
Defining human nature as inherently selfish, Machiavelli proposes that social conflict and violence are natural phenomena that help determine the ablest, most versatile form of government. Asserting that idealism has no place in the political arena,The Prince primarily addresses a monarch’s difficulties in retaining authority. Considered the first expression of political realism, it has often been accused of advocating a political philosophy in which the end justifies the means.” Indeed the emphasis in The Prince on practical success, at the expense even of traditional moral values, earned Machiavelli a reputation for ruthlessness, deception, and cruelty. Many scholars contend, however, that the author’s pragmatic views of ethics and politics reflected the realities of his time, as exemplified by the Medici family of Florence.
Debates about Machiavelli’s theories are as lively today as they were 450 years ago, but no one questions the importance of his fundamental contribution to Western political thought. This newly translated edition also includes Machiavelli’sLetter to Francesco Vettori, The Life of Castruccio Castracani, and excerpts from theDiscourses on Livy.
Wayne A. Rebhorn, Celanese Centennial Professor of English at the University of Texas, has authored numerous studies of Renaissance European literature. HisFoxes and Lions: Machiavelli’s Confidence Men won the Howard R. Marraro Prize of the Modern Language Association of America in 1990.