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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $17.00
  • May 1992
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-96220-8
  • 320 pages
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide

The Prince

Norton Critical Editions

Second Edition


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Niccolò Machiavelli (Author), Robert M. Adams (Editor, late of the University of California, Los Angeles)


Robert M. Adams’s superb translation of Machiavelli’s best-known work is again the basis for this Norton Critical Edition.

Accurate, highly readable, and thoroughly revised for the Second Edition, this translation renders Machiavelli’s 1513 political tract into clear and concise English.

"Backgrounds" relies entirely upon Machiavelli’s other writings to place this central Florentine in his proper political and historical context. Included are excerpts from The Discourses, a report from a diplomatic mission, a collection of private letters, and two poems from Carnival Songs.

"Interpretations" retains three of the previous edition’s seminal essays while adding five selections by Felix Gilbert, Federico Chabod, J. H. Whitfield, Isaiah Berlin, and Robert M. Adams.

"Marginalia" is an eclectic collection of writings germane to both Machiavelli and The Prince. Of the eight selections represented, five of them are new to the Second Edition, including Pasquale Villari’s comic portrayal of Machiavelli’s first diplomatic post in 1499, Francesco Guicciardini’s lofty rebuttal to Machiavelli, and a collection of Tuscan Sayings to further the reader’s understanding of this timeless text.

An updated Selected Bibliography is also included.


    Historical Introduction

    Translator’s Note

    The Text of The Prince


    1. Map: North Central Italy in Machiavelli’s Time


    1. Niccolò Machiavelli, [The Legation to Cesare Borgia]


    1. Niccolò Machiavelli, From Discourses on the First Ten Books of Titus Livius


    1. Niccolò Machiavelli, The Exhortation to Penitence


    1. Niccolò Machiavelli, From His Private Letters


    1. Niccolò Machiavelli, From Carnival Songs
      1. On Occasion
      2. The Death of Piero Soderini


    1. J. R. Hale, The Setting of The Prince: 1513-1514
    2. Felix Gilbert, [Fortune, Necessity, Virtue]
    3. Ernst Cassirer, Implications of the New Theory of the State
    4. Sheldon S. Wolin, [The Economy of Violence]
    5. Federico Chabod, Machiavelli’s Method and Style
    6. J. H. Whitfield, [Big Words, Exact Meanings]
    7. Isaiah Berlin, The Question of Machiavelli
    8. Robert M. Adams, The Rise, Proliferation, and Degradation of Machiavellism: An Outline


    1. Friedrich Nietzsche, [Morals as Fossilized Violence]
    2. Pasquale Villari, [Learning Diplomacy the Hard Way]
    3. Francesco Guicciardini, From Ricordi
    4. Traiano Boccalini, From News Bulletins from Parnassus
    5. Norman Douglas, From South Wind
    6. J. H. Whitfield, [Big Words, Exact Meanings]
    7. Robert M. Adams, Necessity/Fortuna
    8. Epigrams, Maxims, and Observations from the Machiavellians
    9. Tuscan Sayings

    Selected Biography