Though Machiavelli, himself, referred to the work as ‘Of Principalities’, when it was finally published five years after his death, it carried the title The Prince. One of the very first books on political philosophy.
The Prince is a guide for political action based on a combination of Machiavelli’s life as a foreign secretary and the lessons history has to offer us. It is a treatise on how to acquire power and, more importantly, how to keep it.
The term ‘Machiavellian’ has come to mean cunning, scheming and unscrupulous – most especially in politics – with Machiavelli’s ideas shocking most readers. But whether you count it as manipulative and vicious, or common sense, is something you need to experience for yourself.