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Best Machiavelli Books You Should Read

Our list of some of the best Machiavelli books & series in recent years. Get inspired by one or more of the following books.

1. The Prince (2017)

Best Machiavelli Books You Should ReadThe Prince, by Niccolo Machiavelli, is a 16th-century political treatise. The Prince is sometimes claimed to be one of the first works of modern philosophy, especially modern political philosophy, in which the effective truth is taken to be more important than any abstract ideal. It was also in direct conflict with the dominant Catholic and scholastic doctrines of the time concerning politics and ethics. The Prince has the general theme of accepting that the aims of princes—such as glory and survival—can justify the use of immoral means to achieve those ends. Although it is relatively…
Author(s): Niccolo Machiavelli, W.K. Marriott

2. The Essential Writings of Machiavelli (Modern Library Classics) (2007)

Best Machiavelli Books You Should ReadFINALIST–2008 PEN TRANSLATION PRIZEIn The Essential Writings of Machiavelli, Peter Constantine has assembled a comprehensive collection that shows the true depth and breadth of a great Renaissance thinker. Refreshingly accessible, these superb new translations are faithful to Machiavelli’s original, beautifully crafted writings.The volume features essays that appear in English for the first time, such as “A Caution to the Medici” and “The Persecution of Africa.” Also included are complete versions of the political treatise, The…
Author(s): Niccolo Machiavelli, Peter Constantine , et al.

3. Discourses (1984)

Best Machiavelli Books You Should ReadFew figures in intellectual history have proved as notorious and ambiguous as Niccolò Machiavelli. But while his treatise The Prince made his name synonymous with autocratic ruthlessness and cynical manipulation, The Discourses (c.1517) shows a radically different outlook on the world of politics. In this carefully argued commentary on Livy’s history of republican Rome, Machiavelli proposed a system of government that would uphold civic freedom and security by instilling the virtues of active citizenship, and that would also encourage citizens to put the needs of the state above selfish, personal interests….
Author(s): Niccolo Machiavelli

4. The Art Of War (2001)

Best Machiavelli Books You Should ReadVoltaire said, “Machiavelli taught Europe the art of war; it had long been practiced, without being known.” For Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527), war was war, and victory the supreme aim to which all other considerations must be subordinated. The Art of War is far from an anachronism—its pages outline fundamental questions that theorists of war continue to examine today, making it essential reading for any student of military history, strategy, or theory. Machiavelli believed The Art of War to be his most important work….
Author(s): Niccolò Machiavelli, Ellis Farneworth

5. The Prince (Dover Thrift Editions) (1992)

Best Machiavelli Books You Should ReadAs a young Florentine envoy to the courts of France and the Italian principalities, Niccolò Machiavelli (1469–1527) was able to observe firsthand the lives of people strongly united under one powerful ruler. His fascination with that political rarity and his intense desire to see the Medici family assume a similar role in Italy provided the foundation for his “primer for princes.” In this classic guide to acquiring and maintaining political power, Machiavelli used a rational approach to advise prospective rulers, developing logical arguments and alternatives for a number of potential problems, among them…
Author(s): Niccolò Machiavelli, N. H. Thompson

6. Nicolo Machiavelli The Complete Collection: (4 Books) The Prince, The Art of War, The Discourses on Livy, History of Florence (2017)

Best Machiavelli Books You Should ReadBOOK ONE:The Prince Is a 16th-century political treatise, by the Italian diplomat and political theorist Niccolò Machiavelli. From correspondence a version appears to have been distributed in 1513, using a Latin title, De Principatibus (About Principalities). However, the printed version was not published until 1532, five years after Machiavelli’s death. This was done with the permission of the Medici pope Clement VII, but “long before then, in fact since the first appearance of The Prince in manuscript, controversy had swirled about his writings”. Although it was written as if it were a traditional work in the mirrors…
Author(s): Nicolo Machiavelli

7. Machiavelli: Selected Political Writings (Hackett Classics) (1994)

Best Machiavelli Books You Should ReadHere are The Prince and the most important of the Discourses newly translated into spare, vivid English. Why a new translation? Machiavelli was never the dull, worthy, pedantic author who appears in the pages of other translations, says David Wootton in his Introduction. In the pages that follow I have done my best to let him speak in his own voice. (And indeed, Wootton’s Machiavelli does just that when the occasion demands: renderings of that most problematic of words, virtu, are in each instance followed by the Italian). Notes, a map, and an altogether remarkable Introduction no less authoritative for being grippingly…
Author(s): Niccolo Machiavelli, David Wooton

8. The Prince (2015)

Best Machiavelli Books You Should ReadThe Prince is a 16th-century political treatise by the Italian diplomat and political theorist Niccolò Machiavelli. From correspondence a version appears to have been distributed in 1513, using a Latin title, De Principatibus (About Principalities). However, the printed version was not published until 1532, five years after Machiavelli’s death. This was done with the permission of the Medici pope Clement VII, but “long before then, in fact since the first appearance of the Prince in manuscript, controversy had swirled about his writings”. Although it was written as if it…
Author(s): Nicolo Machiavelli

9. The 48 Laws of Power (2000)

Best Machiavelli Books You Should ReadIn the book that People magazine proclaimed “beguiling” and “fascinating,” Robert Greene and Joost Elffers have distilled three thousand years of the history of power into 48 essential laws by drawing from the philosophies of Machiavelli, Sun Tzu, and Carl Von Clausewitz and also from the lives of figures ranging from Henry Kissinger to P.T. Barnum.   Some laws teach the need for prudence (“Law 1: Never Outshine the Master”), others teach the value of confidence (“Law 28: Enter Action with Boldness”), and many recommend absolute self-preservation (“Law 15: Crush Your Enemy…
Author(s): Robert Greene

10. Sun Tzu’s Art of War & Machiavelli’s Prince: Two Great Works in One Book (2016)

Best Machiavelli Books You Should ReadThis slim paperback contains both Sun Tzu’s timeless work “The Art of War” and Niccolo Machiavelli’s indispensable “The Prince”, printed in that order. Both works are almost too short to warrant printing them alone, and most anyone that would read one would want to read the other. So, it only makes sense that they should be published together for a better price than one can buy them both individually….
Author(s): Sun Tzu, Niccolo Macchiavelli

11. Sun Tzu & Machiavelli Leadership Secrets: How To Become A Superior Leader Utilizing The Principles Of The Art Of War And The Prince (2016)

Best Machiavelli Books You Should ReadSun Tzu’s ‘The Art of War’ and Machiavelli’s ‘The Prince’ both are fundamentally important works related to the areas of strategic leadership and decision making. Although almost every leader has heard of these works, very few have read them in depth and applied the lessons they contain to their own life. This is a huge oversight. Both books contain wisdom and advice which is applicable to almost any situation a leader finds they are in. Both books have a reputation for being dense and difficult to understand. This is due to the fact that both were written in other…
Author(s): Anthony D. Jensen

12. The Portable Machiavelli (1979)

Best Machiavelli Books You Should ReadIn the four and a half centuries since Machiavelli’s death, no single and unanimously accepted interpretation of his ideas has succeeded in imposing itself upon the lively debate over the meaning of his works. Yet there has never been any doubt about the fundamental importance of Machiavelli’s contribution to Western political theory. brings together the complete texts of , , and , newly translated by Peter Bondanella and Mark Musa especially for this volume. In addition, the editors include an abridged version of ; a play, , in its…
Author(s): Niccolo Machiavelli, Peter Bondanella , et al.

Best Machiavelli Books You Should Read

We highly recommend you to buy all paper or e-books in a legal way, for example, on Amazon. But sometimes it might be a need to dig deeper beyond the shiny book cover. Before making a purchase, you can visit resources like Genesis and download some machiavelli books mentioned below at your own risk. Once again, we do not host any illegal or copyrighted files, but simply give our visitors a choice and hope they will make a wise decision.

Florentine Political Writings from Petrarch to Machiavelli

Author(s): Mark Jurdjevic, Natasha Piano, John P. McCormick
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press, Year: 2019, Size: 565 Kb, Download: epub
ID: 2413103

Machiavelli in Tumult: Conquest, Citizenship and Conflict in the Discourses on Livy

Author(s): Gabriele Pedullà
Publisher: Cambridge University Press, Year: 2018, Size: 36 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2261458

The Oligarch: Rewriting Machiavelli’s The Prince for Our Time

Author(s): James Sherry
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan, Year: 2018, Size: 1 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2153119

Machiavelli’s Florentine Republic

Author(s): Michelle T. Clarke
Publisher: Cambridge University Press, Year: 2018, Size: 1 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2240071

Power, Pleasure, and Profit: Insatiable Appetites from Machiavelli to Madison

Author(s): David Wootton
Publisher: Belknap Press, Year: 2018, Size: 4 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2289299

Reading Machiavelli: Scandalous Books, Suspect Engagements, and the Virtue of Populist Politics

Author(s): John P. McCormick
Publisher: Princeton University Press, Year: 2018, Size: 3 Mb, Download: epub
ID: 2327622

Please note that this booklist is not definite. Some books are absolutely best-sellers according to The New York Times, others are drafted by unknown authors. On top of that, you can always find additional tutorials and courses on Coursera, Udemy or edX, for example. Are there any other relevant resources you could recommend? Drop a comment if you have any feedback on the list.

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