Niccolo Machiavelli was an Italian Renaissance political philosopher and statesman, secretary of the Florentine Republic, who is most famous for his work 'The Prince' (Il Principe). His writings are often cited as a realist approach to politics, where the acquisition and maintenance of power are justified by any means necessary, often summarized by the phrase 'the ends justify the means.' Machiavelli's ideas have had a lasting impact on political theory and the perception of statecraft.
This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.
1. The Prince
This classic work of political philosophy provides a pragmatic guide on political leadership and power, arguing that leaders must do whatever necessary to maintain authority and protect their states, even if it means compromising morality and ethics. The book explores various types of principalities, military affairs, the conduct of great leaders, and the virtues a prince should possess. It is known for its controversial thesis, which suggests that the ends justify the means in politics.
2. The Mandrake
"The Mandrake" is a satirical play that explores themes of corruption, deceit, and the manipulation of social norms. Set in Renaissance Italy, the story revolves around a young man who, desperate to win the affections of a beautiful but married woman, concocts a complex scheme involving a love potion derived from the mandrake root. With the help of a cunning rascal and a corrupt priest, the plan unfolds with a series of deceptions and moral compromises, ultimately questioning the true nature of virtue and vice in a society rife with hypocrisy. The play delves into the darker aspects of human behavior, using wit and humor to expose the lengths to which individuals will go to satisfy their desires.