While browsing a philosophy forum, I happened upon a discussion which proffered the idea that Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli's
, The Prince was first and foremost concerned with the pragmatism of successful rule. Further, Machiavelli's lack of apologist sentiment with his often sanguinary historical and then contemporary examples, has been widely misunderstood and willfully vilified by his critics.
Having read The Portable Machiavelli English translation by Peter Bondanella and Mark Musa, nearly forty years ago and remembering my similar view, the discussion on the forum prompted a rereading. This time of the suggested English translation of The Prince by Tim Parks
, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
In conclusion, Machiavelli's understanding of political intrigue did not prevent his own imprisonment, torture, and premature death. However his understanding of political intrigue may have been his savior from a far earlier demise. In contrast, Sun Tzu's understanding
of political intrigue enabled Sun Tzu to comfortably retire unscathed.