Sun Tzu's Art of War & Machiavelli's Prince: Two Great Works in One Book Info

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This 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.

Average Ratings and Reviews
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608 Ratings

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Reviews for Sun Tzu's Art of War & Machiavelli's Prince: Two Great Works in One Book:

3

Feb 20, 2018

Pratica e teoria per un signore del 1500
Citando esempi (con lo stesso scopo e metodo delle note bibliografiche in un articolo scientifico moderno) dalla Storia antica, dalla mitologia, dalla Bibbia, ma anche da eventi a lui contemporanei l’autore compone un dittico senza tempo. Se nel Principe Machiavelli ci racconta la filosofia che sta dietro alla sua idea di governante, ne L’arte della guerra l’argomento si sposta su aspetti logistici e funzionali. Ad una lettura consecutiva (e doverosa), si Pratica e teoria per un signore del 1500
Citando esempi (con lo stesso scopo e metodo delle note bibliografiche in un articolo scientifico moderno) dalla Storia antica, dalla mitologia, dalla Bibbia, ma anche da eventi a lui contemporanei l’autore compone un dittico senza tempo. Se nel Principe Machiavelli ci racconta la filosofia che sta dietro alla sua idea di governante, ne L’arte della guerra l’argomento si sposta su aspetti logistici e funzionali. Ad una lettura consecutiva (e doverosa), si ha l’impressione di avere un manuale “teorico-pratico” completo il cui scopo - nonostante i titoli e le interpretazioni “machiavelliche” che ci sono arrivate attraverso i secoli - è quello di aiutare i governanti a mantenere la pace in un’Italia dagli equilibri instabili.
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5

Feb 05, 2016

I used to be highly biased against Machiavelli, what with his reputation of being an evil thinker, then out of pure curiosity, I happened to read the Prince, a book that looks at how politics and state craft is, rather than how we wish it to be, ever since I have nothing but deep respect for him, and love for his magnificent work, it is scary how his character types for failing politicians match today's politicians.
4

Jun 07, 2015

If I could break down the star review it would be 5 for The Prince and 3 for The Art of War. Sun Tzu does a far superior Art of War and this one drags a lot.
2

Mar 03, 2016

As an edition, this is pretty basic. It includes virtually nothing for introductory or contextual material, and no notes whatsoever.
3

Feb 15, 2013

Not my usual choice of books... I did find it amazing that although written in the 16th century his thoughts are just as current today.
3

Mar 03, 2012

I read this before studying abroad in Italy. It was a great supplement to my time in Florence and helped me better understand the art and culture.
0

Feb 27, 2016

Machiavelli was the sort of man I would not like to cross. He had an amazing gift for perceiving people and their ambitions. A must read for all social climbers.
5

Nov 17, 2009

This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. i learn life......... all about life ...meanness.as the way to life.......
4

Apr 05, 2013

I'd never read "The Prince," but its lessons are so ingrained I felt like I was rereading it. I will say that Machiavelli gets a bad rap when his name is made an adjective. So it is better to be feared than loved: if you want to get stuff done, you have to break a few eggheads.
3

Dec 05, 2013

The Prince is a good read, but the Art of War was a little too dry with too many prescriptive details on battle tactics and strategy. But overall, much could be learned from both, but more to be skimmed away. The Prince was still a gem, offering insights into statesmanship and a must read.
3

Jan 27, 2009

I did not glean as much from these essays as I had hoped. But the book was extremely interesting and educational. At some point in "The Prince" I began to wonder if the entire work was not intended to be ironic. Certain assertions were so ridiculous and yet so seriously put forth, that I had to wonder.
1

Apr 07, 2018

My marking this as Read is a misnomer. A more accurate representation is 'the day I stopped reading this' because actually, I got to Book Three and gave up. I was so bored. Then I figured that a) it's not like there's a shortage of reading matter in the universe and b) I'd rather spend my time on something else. I don't 'not finish' things easily but it was a huge relief to let this one go. Next please...
3

Jan 17, 2008

When you get into Management classes at the university level, you'll often read some book like "You're the Best Around!! How to Win While Getting to Yes AND Use Your Strengths that You've Recently Discovered!!!"

Compared to Machiavelli, all modern business books blow. They blow hard.

Basically, Machiavelli wrote down the original version of business management, based on what he saw during the time of the Medici's in Italy.

Any dude or lady that writes a book is simply saying what Machiavelli said When you get into Management classes at the university level, you'll often read some book like "You're the Best Around!! How to Win While Getting to Yes AND Use Your Strengths that You've Recently Discovered!!!"

Compared to Machiavelli, all modern business books blow. They blow hard.

Basically, Machiavelli wrote down the original version of business management, based on what he saw during the time of the Medici's in Italy.

Any dude or lady that writes a book is simply saying what Machiavelli said in business terms. ...more
3

Aug 09, 2011

"The Prince" is an excellent look into history, politics, and those who are at the top of successful powerful businesses. "The Art of War," however, took me almost 3 years to read only because it was the type of book I'd pick up when I couldn't decide what to read or couldn't sleep. Personally, I found it boring, overly detailed, but learned plenty about the military styles, defenses, training, and such of many countries during the 1400s. I love history, but I can find hundreds of other ways to "The Prince" is an excellent look into history, politics, and those who are at the top of successful powerful businesses. "The Art of War," however, took me almost 3 years to read only because it was the type of book I'd pick up when I couldn't decide what to read or couldn't sleep. Personally, I found it boring, overly detailed, but learned plenty about the military styles, defenses, training, and such of many countries during the 1400s. I love history, but I can find hundreds of other ways to learn it than from this book. ...more
4

Jun 28, 2013

The Prince is the consummate guide to assuming and maintaining power in Renaissance Italy: a defining work in political philosophy and the establishment of 'realpolitik' ideology. There were many parts I found somewhat hard to follow - Niccolo being a historian likes to 'drop names' of historical figures throughout the book... some I had knowledge of - many I did not. This made it a little bit hard to comprehend in certain places. I did find it an entertaining read that still very much rings The Prince is the consummate guide to assuming and maintaining power in Renaissance Italy: a defining work in political philosophy and the establishment of 'realpolitik' ideology. There were many parts I found somewhat hard to follow - Niccolo being a historian likes to 'drop names' of historical figures throughout the book... some I had knowledge of - many I did not. This made it a little bit hard to comprehend in certain places. I did find it an entertaining read that still very much rings through in today's power politics however.

The Art of War reads in the form of a dialogue and at parts I found a bit disengaging due to the content. Much of the book is dedicated entirely to the positioning and personnel requirements on the battlefield which has very little to no relevance, nor interest, to me. The parts of the book that I did find interest in was much the opposite though.

I would recommend perhaps a different version that comes along with some footnotes. An emphasis on increasing the reader's knowledge of historical figures would have particularly assisted with my ability to absorb the content, as would some kind of preface as to the political circumstances from which Machiavelli was writing. Even with this said, people with even the most remote interest in political thought should read both The Prince & The Art of War.

Highly recommended.

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0

Dec 23, 2009

http://nhw.livejournal.com/731403.html[return][return]I found it very thought-provoking. The style is a little reminiscent of Sun Tzu's The Art of War - less staccato, of course, and with rather too many references to events contemporary to Machiavelli which I have only dimly heard of, if at all. Machiavelli's strictures on statecraft for the autocratic ruler are not hugely relevant for Western democracies, where the executive's freedom to do what they want is (thank God!) hemmed in by many http://nhw.livejournal.com/731403.html[return][return]I found it very thought-provoking. The style is a little reminiscent of Sun Tzu's The Art of War - less staccato, of course, and with rather too many references to events contemporary to Machiavelli which I have only dimly heard of, if at all. Machiavelli's strictures on statecraft for the autocratic ruler are not hugely relevant for Western democracies, where the executive's freedom to do what they want is (thank God!) hemmed in by many legal and political restrictions.[return][return]But for a number of the countries that I take an interest in, which have democratic form but not content, his analysis is actually a much better explanation of their rulers' behaviour, and a useful metric for predicting whether they will succeed or fail, than any appeal to democratic theory. To take one example that is no longer contemporary, I read the passage on a Civil Principality, "where a leading citizen becomes the prince of his country, not by wickedness or any intolerable violence, but by the favour of his fellow citizens", and thought of Eduard Shevardnadze and his downfall.[return][return]And indeed some of his strictures have a wider application than merely to autocratic rulers' domestic policies. His observation that while you may have to choose being feared over being loved, you must avoid at all costs being hated, has obvious read-through to external as well as internal interventions in any country's politics.[return][return]The last few chapters - on choosing the right person to be your right-hand man, while at the same time avoiding the attentions of flatterers - are obviously to be seen in the light of the entire book being a job application; but they are none the less important observations on the psychology of leaders and their advisers.[return][return]So yeah, an excellent read. ...more
5

Jun 16, 2011

It took me a long time to finish reading this; indeed it was sat on my shelf or bedside table for over a year until I forced myself to concentrate on it over other more easily read & understood books. But while I admit I found it difficult at times to fully understand many of Machiavelli’s ideas without re-reading sections several times over there are so many lessons taught that are as relevant today as they were 500 years ago. Numerous passages throughout ‘The Prince’ could relate directly It took me a long time to finish reading this; indeed it was sat on my shelf or bedside table for over a year until I forced myself to concentrate on it over other more easily read & understood books. But while I admit I found it difficult at times to fully understand many of Machiavelli’s ideas without re-reading sections several times over there are so many lessons taught that are as relevant today as they were 500 years ago. Numerous passages throughout ‘The Prince’ could relate directly to the west’s current involvement in Afghanistan and Libya; for example on how forcefully removing an occupied populations weapons, will lead to further strife, or how populations that are used to a strong prince/dictator will find it difficult to adjust to democratic rule. Furthermore its vivid descriptions of how those who desire power should go about achieving and retaining it are as relevant to contemporary political thought as anything written since.

A criticism of the purpose of the text has been that it is sarcastic in nature since while many of the ideas Machiavelli discusses relate to keeping armed conflict to a minimum and the long term failure of violent occupations of ‘free’ people; he puts Duke Valentino, a man who conquered much of central Italy with French & Papal forces on a pedestal as a wise prince to copy.

The Art of War is a very different book to the Prince and I’ll admit to being slightly thrown at first by its Socratic dialogue structure. While it can seem like the book focuses entirely on 15/16th Century warfare with little that is relevant to modern society, the further I got into the book, the more I understood how many ideas relating to the management of troops/workers, risk-reward, innovative thinking and awareness of your surroundings among many others were relevant to today’s world. I did find some of the in-depth descriptions of unit formation and movement a little tedious but again this provided ample lessons on the scaling of forces, having multiple redundancies, adaptability of plans and planning for the unexpected.

While I can’t claim to have ever read any of core management school textbooks, I do think this should be a must read for anyone looking to understand how to successfully manage & motivate people, successfully plan and achieve objectives, and understand some of the underlying issues in many politically unstable (and indeed stable) countries in the world today. This is not even to mention how Machiavelli’s accounts provide a vivid picture of political life in 15th/16th century Italy.
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4

Dec 03, 2018

The Prince ****

The Prince is a collection of Machiavelli's thoughts and observations on how to be a successful leader. He makes statements about how a leader should act and then backs them up with examples of how leaders have succeeded and failed throughout history and what caused their defeat or victory. He uses examples from various empires, but mainly focuses on examples from Italy, both in his time and during the Roman Empire. The Prince includes a lot of interesting historical information

The Prince ****

The Prince is a collection of Machiavelli's thoughts and observations on how to be a successful leader. He makes statements about how a leader should act and then backs them up with examples of how leaders have succeeded and failed throughout history and what caused their defeat or victory. He uses examples from various empires, but mainly focuses on examples from Italy, both in his time and during the Roman Empire. The Prince includes a lot of interesting historical information as well as profound observations about politics and human nature.


The Prince was very interesting to read because I learned a lot about Italian history and because Machiavelli made interesting observations about how people behave and how leaders can be successful. Many of his observations seem to hold true because various political examples from after his time hold to the patterns he described. However, I question how universally applicable his assumptions are because they are all founded on the idea that humans are essentially evil, and I personally do not believe this is true, since I know many people who spend much of their time helping others with no benefit to themselves except the knowledge that they've improved the life of another. I disagree with some of Machiavelli's points, for example his idea that war is inevitable and should therefore not be avoided. I am a pacifist because I believe that injuries to people should be avoided, so it is better for a country to protect its citizens by not putting them in the way of gunfire than to fight for their beliefs while risking the lives of citizens. In addition, Machiavelli is evidently sexist, and his ignorance of the ability for women to hold power means that he has ignored that women sometimes have different tendencies than men. For example, Machiavelli concludes that bonds of love are unreliable because they will always be broken at the first point where an action benefits one of the people and not the other, but the actions of many mothers in respect to their children is an obvious contradiction to this rule. Machiavelli's sexism is also evident as he only references women as objects for men's pleasure and compares fortune to a woman in that "if you wish to master her, you must strike and beat her." Of course, Machiavelli's ideas about gender were common in his time, but it does affect the universality of his statements considering that he ignored the actions and motivations of half of the human race.


Overall, The Prince was an extremely interesting book and it brought up a lot of questions about politics and human nature that were fascinating to ponder. I appreciate the historical examples Machiavelli used to back up each of his claims, and admire the depth of his observations about people. However, I think that some of his basic assumptions about people that he thought too obvious to explain are questionable, so I question the truth of his statements and the sagacity of a modern leader to actually follow his advice.



The Art of War ***

The Art of War describes how to form, train, and fight with an army in Machiavelli's time. The main idea is that the Romans were great warriors so a good army should be modelled after them with very minor changes to account for modern weapons such as guns. Machiavelli covers pretty much every detail a military commander would need, discussing how to recruit an army, train it, engage in battle, set up camp, organize marches, and defend a city, as well as how to account for any accidents that might occur in any of these situations. It is extremely detailed, giving the exact numbers of soldiers necessary for a battle, the exact positions they should take, and the exact dimensions for how much space the soldiers will take up when marching and in camp. These details made it very easy to visualize the army in my head, since it was so well-described.


The Art of War was well-written and very useful for a military leader in Machiavelli's time who wanted to improve their army, however since it describes an army that uses pikes, swords, and shields, it's not particularly useful to military strategists today. In the present day, I can really only think of two cases in which it's useful; the first would be for anyone interested in Italian or military history, and the second is writers thinking of how to describe an army in a fantasy or historical fiction book. Luckily, I'm interested in Italian history and I want to be a fantasy author, so I didn't find the book too boring, but even so there were parts when I thought that the information was pretty useless in the 21st century.


I enjoyed The Art of War because it was well-written and a good source on Italian military history in both Roman and Renaissance times. However, I wouldn't recommend it for anyone else unless you're fascinated by those subjects, because unless military history interests you it's useless to read 200 pages about the exact way to form an army in the 1500's.

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4

Oct 23, 2017

Both books contain interesting information about human nature and motivations.

Both are books that I've been meaning to read for years and I wasn't disappointed. I did find it a bit overwhelming to listen to both at once. In retrospect I shouldn't have listened to the whole thing in one sitting and yet I can't think of where I would have stopped.

There is a lot of information in these books, I'll definitely need to listen to them again to absorb more.

Well narrated with a good pace and a natural Both books contain interesting information about human nature and motivations.

Both are books that I've been meaning to read for years and I wasn't disappointed. I did find it a bit overwhelming to listen to both at once. In retrospect I shouldn't have listened to the whole thing in one sitting and yet I can't think of where I would have stopped.

There is a lot of information in these books, I'll definitely need to listen to them again to absorb more.

Well narrated with a good pace and a natural delivery.

I received a free copy of this book from the author and/or narrator and/or publisher in exchange for an honest review. ...more

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