A new translation by Peter Constantine
Introduction by Albert Russell Ascoli
The first modern treatise of political philosophy, "The Prince" is one of the world's most influential and widely read books. Machiavelli reveals nothing less than the secrets of power: how to gain it, how to wield it, and how to keep it. Ruthless, cunning, and amoral, "The Prince" is a controversial analysis of manipulation and an essential guide for anyone interested in conquest, self-defense, or observation of dominance and control. The Introduction by noted Italian Renaissance scholar Albert Russell Ascoli provides a perfect opening to Peter Constantine's illuminating new translation of this seminal work.
Constantine elegantly captures in English the pith of Machiavelli's brilliant Italian prose. Edward Muir, Clarence L. Ver Steeg Professor in the Arts and Sciences, Northwestern University.
About the Author
Niccolo Machiavelli was an Italian politician, diplomat, founding father of political science, and author of the preeminent political treatise, The Prince. Born in Florence, Italy, Machiavelli held many government posts over his lifetime and often took leading roles in important diplomatic missions. During his time visiting other countries and nation states, Machiavelli was exposed to the politics of figures like Ceasare Borgia and King Louis XII, experiences which would inform his writings on state-building and politics. Machiavelli s political career came to an abrupt end when the Medici overthrew Florence, and he was held as a prisoner under the new regime. Tortured for a short time, he was released without admitting to any crime or treason. At this point, Machiavelli retired and turned to intellectual and philosophical pursuits, producing his two major works, The Prince and Discourses on the First Ten Books of Titus Livy. He died in 1527 at the age of 58.
Peter Constantine's most recent translations are Sophocles Theban Trilogy, The Essential Writings of Machiavelli, and The Bird is a Raven by Benjamin Lebert, which was awarded the Helen und Kurt Wolff Translation Prize. He was awarded the PEN Translation Prize for Six Early Stories by Thomas Mann, and the National Translation Award for The Undiscovered Chekhov: Thirty-Eight New Stories. His translation of the complete works of Isaac Babel received the Koret Jewish Literature Award and a National Jewish Book Award citation. He has recently translated Gogol s Taras Bulba, Tolstoy s The Cossacks, and Voltaire s Candide for Modern Library. He was one of the editors for A Century of Greek Poetry: 1900-2000, and is a senior editor at Conjunctions.
Albert Russell Ascoli is Gladyce Arata Terrill Distinguished Professor at the University of California, Berkeley. His publications include Ariosto's Bitter Harmony: Crisis and Evasion in the Italian Renaissance (1987), Making and Remaking Italy: The Cultivation of National Identity around the Risorgimento (co-edited with Krystyna von Henneberg, 2001), Dante and the Making of a Modern Author (Cambridge University Press, 2008) and A Local Habitation, and a Name: Imagining Histories in the Italian Renaissance (2011). He is co-founder and volume editor of the electronic journal, California Italian Studies.
“Constantine elegantly captures in English the pith of Machiavelli’s brilliant Italian prose.”—Edward Muir, Clarence L. Ver Steeg Professor in the Arts and Sciences, Northwestern University