Machiavelli is one of the most famous strategists of all time. In this collection he discusses the dangers of conspiracies, and the component parts of an army, vital for gaining and holding power in his day. He also gives advice on tactics and discipline, and explains why promises made under force ought not to be kept.
GREAT IDEAS. Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves - and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives - and destroyed them. Now Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization and helped make us who we are.
Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) was appointed secretary to the Florentine Republic in 1498. He was dismissed from this post in 1512 and forced to withdraw from public life, after which time he wrote The Prince, a handbook for rulers and The Discourses, from which this selection is taken.