I had always heard that Machiavelli's "The Prince" was a must read on the basics of statecraft - now I know it is true. Machiavelli discusses the various forms and factors of creating, running and keeping a state. Still relevant, even in today's times.
Machiavelli's arguments are a bit "pat". He likes to establish dichotomies and trichotomies, and answer each category of possibility. It strikes me that he broke a lot of new ground, establishing "rules for statecraft", but I found much of his analysis either too simple, or his examples insufficiently explored, to be much educated. Perhaps that's a good thing; it's an amoral education he promises, anyway. The narration is not flawed, but not compelling, either.
The material itself is excellent and timeless. This production has been rendered in a competent fashion, but with little finesse. The work is accessible to almost all who would read (or, in this case, listen to) it; but I would have preferred a more robust and sympathetic reader.
I love this book. The reader is very good, and there is a nice introduction on the life of Machiavelli. Although written on how to run a state, I find it very insightful in dealing with most social situations particularily in the office.
NICCOLO MACHIAVELLI was born in Florence in 1469. In 1498, he was appointed Second Chancellor of the Florentine Republic; in 1501, he was imprisoned and tortured when the Medici returned to Florence. Upon his release, he retired to his farm to study and write.