Author: Niccolo Machiavelli
Title: The Prince
Description: Courtier Machiavelli describes how to get and hold power, using many examples.
Source: Part of the Penguin treasure-trove.
Writing style: Since this book was written in Italian, a good portion of the writing style will be that of the translator, in this case, Tim Parks. Parks has a lively, engaging style and made this book really interesting. I also enjoyed his introduction which justifies the translation style he used.
Audience: primarily written for despots, would be enjoyed by others who like reading well-written prose.
Major ideas: Be clever, not stupid, and you’ll have a good chance to hold on to power. This may involve being cruel or harsh at times, but if you’re not prepared to do this, you are probably not well-suited to power.
Wrap-up: I enjoyed this book a lot; short chapters made it easy to read in small bits (I probably wouldn’t want to try to get through it in a single sitting or two). 4/5*