Books That Continue To Thrive Centuries After Their Initial

1578 WordsApr 11, 20177 Pages
Books that continue to thrive centuries after their initial writing contain something that prompts continued discussion and analysis, such as wisdom and insight, or, in some cases, controversy. In the 15th century, Niccolo Machiavelli composed a political treatise that has persisted primarily due to the questionable morality and brutal practices it promotes. Readers have spent centuries wrestling with this small but powerful book, trying to discern Machiavelli’s purpose, as well as how his writing has influenced political leaders since its publication. With a political background during a time of unrest in Italy, Machiavelli wrote with expertise and knowledge, having seen rulers fail first-hand in addition to his extensive historical…show more content…
More than mere advice, Machiavelli wrote an entire battle plan backed by historical facts, leaving no circumstances unconsidered or threats unaddressed. From armies and fortresses to public relations and religion, Machiavelli presents blunt and sometimes radical opinions on how to conquer and maintain a stable country that have both intrigued and concerned readers for centuries. Without considering morality, Machiavelli’s advice not only sounds plausible—it makes sense. He recognizes the challenge of ruling a people after taking out a well-loved ruler, making sure to eliminate all possible heirs to the throne to leave no question of authority, and never trusting mercenaries because they do not have genuine loyalty to the cause. Ultimately, he recommends eliminating any possible threats, no matter the means necessary. On the surface, this sounds brutal and unnecessary, but Machiavelli thoroughly backs up all of his claims through historical and recent events. Repeatedly, after giving a piece of instruction, Machiavelli lists several examples of rulers who exemplify relevant examples of either success or failure. He does not have an example of a perfect government to work from, but in analyzing various strategies that have worked—or not worked—in certain circumstances, Machiavelli constructs what he believes to be an indestructible political ideal. There is no doubt that the morality of this ideal is questionable, but his propositions
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