Title: The Prince & The Discourses on Livy
Author: Niccolo Machiavelli
Publisher: Gryphon Press, Classics of Liberty Library, 2010. Privately printed, scarce!
Condition: Hardcover, full blue leather with ornate gilt. In perfect condition.
Although it makes for a poor endorsement ethically, it must be said that this book has been admired by nearly every dictator of the past 400 years.
“The list of avid readers is impressive: Emperor Charles V and Catherine de Medici admired the work; Oliver Cromwell procured a manuscript copy, and adapted its principles to the Commonwealth government in England; Henry III and Henry IV of France were carrying copies when they were murdered; it helped Frederick the Great to shape Prussian policy; Louis XIV used the book as his “favorite nightcap”; an annotated copy was found in Napoleon Bonaparte’s coach at Waterloo; Napoleon III’s ideas on government were chiefly derived from it; and Bismarck was a devoted disciple. More recently, Adolf Hitler, according to his own word, kept The Prince by his bedside, where it served as a constant source of inspiration; and Benito Mussolini stated, “I believe Machiavelli’s Prince to be the statesman’s supreme guide. His doctrine is alive today because in the course of four hundred years no deep changes have occurred in the minds of men or in the actions of nations.”