Written in the sixteenth century and almost immediately a subject of controversy, The Prince presents Machiavelli's advice to a ruler who would seek to maintain his power most effectively. Pragmatism and expediency are seen to be more important considerations than ethical ones, and a ruler must be prepared to take actions in the interest of public order that might conflict with purely private ethical concerns. A good ruler must avoid being hated by his subjects however. In The Art of War Machiavelli examines ancient military practices for their relevance to modern political issues, and asserts that military power is at the base of all civil order.
With an Afterword by Oliver Francis.