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The Art of War

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Voltaire said, "Machiavelli taught Europe the art of war; it had long been practiced, without being known." For Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527), war was war, and victory the supreme aim to which all other considerations must be subordinated. The Art of War is far from an anachronism—its pages outline fundamental questions that theorists of war continue to examine today, ma Voltaire said, "Machiavelli taught Europe the art of war; it had long been practiced, without being known." For Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527), war was war, and victory the supreme aim to which all other considerations must be subordinated. The Art of War is far from an anachronism—its pages outline fundamental questions that theorists of war continue to examine today, making it essential reading for any student of military history, strategy, or theory. Machiavelli believed The Art of War to be his most important work.


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Voltaire said, "Machiavelli taught Europe the art of war; it had long been practiced, without being known." For Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527), war was war, and victory the supreme aim to which all other considerations must be subordinated. The Art of War is far from an anachronism—its pages outline fundamental questions that theorists of war continue to examine today, ma Voltaire said, "Machiavelli taught Europe the art of war; it had long been practiced, without being known." For Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527), war was war, and victory the supreme aim to which all other considerations must be subordinated. The Art of War is far from an anachronism—its pages outline fundamental questions that theorists of war continue to examine today, making it essential reading for any student of military history, strategy, or theory. Machiavelli believed The Art of War to be his most important work.

30 review for The Art of War

  1. 5 out of 5

    Knarik Gasparyan

    - "Good orders without military help are disordered" - "A wise questioner makes one considermany things and recognize many others that one would never have recognized without being asked." - War makes thieves and peace hangs them. - Aquire fame as able not as good. - I am esteemed not so much because I understand war as because I also know how to counsel in peace. - DOn't keep beside you either too great lovers of peace or too great lovers of war. - A battle that you win cancels any other bad action o - "Good orders without military help are disordered" - "A wise questioner makes one considermany things and recognize many others that one would never have recognized without being asked." - War makes thieves and peace hangs them. - Aquire fame as able not as good. - I am esteemed not so much because I understand war as because I also know how to counsel in peace. - DOn't keep beside you either too great lovers of peace or too great lovers of war. - A battle that you win cancels any other bad action of yours, and viceversa. - One cannot make a foundation on other arms than one's own and one cannot order one's own arms otherwise than by way of militia. - Well ordered men, armed as well as unarmed, fear the laws. - One should change the heads each year from governement to government, because the continued authority over the same place and men generates union that can be converted to prejudice. - Men do not suffer from things to which they are accustomed. - It is more important for one to guard against being hit than it is important to hit the enemy. - Never order an army so that whoever fights ahead cannot be assisted by those posted behind. - No captain encamps near to the enemy, unless the former is arranged to do battle any time the enemy wants. - For in war, every other thing can in time be conquered, Hunger alone in time conquers you. - Make your enemy suspect his own men in whom he confides. - Want the trouble to follow when the enemy flees rather than the danger of conquering them when they defend themselves. - Guard those places better by which you think you can be hurt less. -Nature produces few hardy men; industry and training makes many. - New and sudden things frighten armies. - Take counsel from many on the things that you must do; what you later want to do, tell few. - "You should never believe that the enemy does not know his business, rather, if you want to deceive yourself less and bring on less danger, the more he appears weak, the more enemy appears more cautious, so much the more ought you to esteem (be wary) of him. And in this you have to use two different means, since you have to fear him with your thoughts and arrangements, but by words and other external demonstrations show him how much you disparage him; for this latter method causes your soldiers to have more hope in obtaining the victory, the former makes you more cautious and less apt to be deceived." - "Confidence is instilled by arms organization, fresh victories, and the knowledge of the Captain. Love of Country springs from nature. Necessities can be many, but that is the strongest, which constrains you either to win or to die." - If you should have present in your army someone who keeps the enemy advised of your designs, you cannot do better if you want to avail yourself of his evil intentions, than to communicate to him those things you do not want to do, and keep silent those things you want to do, and tell him you are apprehensive of the things of which you are not apprehensive, and conceal those things of which you are apprehensive: which will cause the enemy to undertake some enterprise, in the belief that he knows your designs, in which you can deceive him and defeat him.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Mega

    His writings are considered immoral, he teaches you to be appear to be meek as a lamb but deadly as a lion. How to conquer, how to placate, the importance of perception and how it is better to be feared than loved.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy

    The only one of Machiavelli's major works to be published in his lifetime, The Art of War is a survey of Machiavelli's opinions on the composition, employment, and leadership of an army. I found the introduction to this book by Neal Wood to be illuminating as it connected Machiavelli's views in this book to his other famous political works ( Discourses and The Prince ). It also discussed Machiavelli's sources (most of his examples are from Greek and Roman history, as befitting a Renaissance boo The only one of Machiavelli's major works to be published in his lifetime, The Art of War is a survey of Machiavelli's opinions on the composition, employment, and leadership of an army. I found the introduction to this book by Neal Wood to be illuminating as it connected Machiavelli's views in this book to his other famous political works ( Discourses and The Prince ). It also discussed Machiavelli's sources (most of his examples are from Greek and Roman history, as befitting a Renaissance book) and some of the details that he got wrong. Machiavelli writes the book as a question and answer session with a military expert, which became tedious as the participants kept flattering each other. Machiavelli also takes great pains to describe the composition and formations of his ideal army, which gets very long in words. The diagrams provided in the appendix were much more understandable. One of his interesting assertions is that armies and nations win because of their virtu, which the translator left untranslated. Virtu can be termed as both character and fighting spirit. Machiavelli says it is built both through right living and also experience in warfare. Because any country who conquers all its neighbors will end up losing experience in fighting, Machiavelli asserts that every people will finally lose its virtu and be conquered by another, but he does think that can be postponed some. After beginning the book with this discussion (which the introduction's author asserts connects The Art of War with Machiavelli's other works), he moves into more specific topics of how to attack with an army, how to march an army, how to camp an army, how to attack/defend a city, and the best characteristics of a general. What I found most fascinating about this book was the correlaries with Unorthodox Strategies , which I recently finished. Although the authors, and the events they describe, were literally a world apart, the principles they espouse are amazingly similar. Both touch on rewards and punishments to keep discipline, the effect of terrain, supplying an army, advance and retreat, subterfuge, and more. To me, the most striking similar advice was to leave an avenue of escape for a retreating enemy because a cornered army will fight more ferociously. A sensible piece of advice, but counterintuitive. It seems principles of successful warfare were the same in Greece, Rome, or China. This book adds some advice on artillery, which was not treated in the Chinese military classics that I have read, because they were written earlier. While some of the book was tedious, the treatment of strategy and the connections I found with other books I have read made me glad I finally got around to reading it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    zahraa

    لم استطع اكماله، وذلك لأن معلوماته ليست جديدة بالنسبة لي

  5. 4 out of 5

    Thomas

    Haven't read this in a while. It's still a great read. There are so many nuances and strategies that can be applied to all aspects of life, not just war, that can make your actions and decisions mutually beneficial for yourself and everyone involved. :)

  6. 5 out of 5

    Joshua Guest

    Nothing like Sun Tzu's timeless treatise of the same name. Disappointing.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Vincent

    When most people hear the name Machiavelli, they probably consider him a one trick pony for, "The Prince." In reality, Machiavelli was a prolific writer, but his political treatise overpowers anything else. "The Art of War" is an interesting discussion of how armies should be armed and organized. The treatise is organized into several "books" and is shown as a discussion between three characters, one of which is Machiavelli. Based on his knowledge of Roman organization, combined with the technolo When most people hear the name Machiavelli, they probably consider him a one trick pony for, "The Prince." In reality, Machiavelli was a prolific writer, but his political treatise overpowers anything else. "The Art of War" is an interesting discussion of how armies should be armed and organized. The treatise is organized into several "books" and is shown as a discussion between three characters, one of which is Machiavelli. Based on his knowledge of Roman organization, combined with the technology of the day, he lays out a clear and well thought out plan to organize Italy's armies. This is not just a theoretical work, but one which was put into practice as well. At one point he was in charge of Florence's military forces; disregarding mercenaries in favor of citizen soldiers. This paid off as well as the city's forces defeated an invasion from another city state. As a practical philosophy, this might not translate fully into today's world with discussions of archers and cavalry, but it has some overarching themes that still resonate. The reliance on citizen soldiers who are professional and dedicated to the state still hold true today. This might not be useful for everyone interested in modern military theory, but it does have useful insight in the development of military organization and as a historical document.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    In una calda giornata di primavera o d'estate, Fabrizio Colonna gioca al Fantacalcio con gli eserciti internazionali presenti e passati nell'orto di Cosimo Rucellai a Firenze. Ne esce un lungo trattato sotto forma di dialogo, molto più spesso di monologo, sull'organizzazione militare ideale, con una punta di nostalgia che in ogni epoca e luogo non può mai mancare.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Irka

    An entertaining reading. In some cases you can think that over past years nothing has changed- most people tend to think that it was easoer to live and to fight in previous centuries.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Greg Brozeit

    Machiavelli is, in my view, among the most misunderstood of thinkers. In this series of discourses, he provides some insights into the nature of war and the military that were as profound when he wrote them as they are commonplace today: militias vs. standing armies, preparing for veterans, tying military goals to those of the general welfare. He also warned of weak “princes” who failed to understand the interconnectivity between the civil and political life and “need only know how to dream up wi Machiavelli is, in my view, among the most misunderstood of thinkers. In this series of discourses, he provides some insights into the nature of war and the military that were as profound when he wrote them as they are commonplace today: militias vs. standing armies, preparing for veterans, tying military goals to those of the general welfare. He also warned of weak “princes” who failed to understand the interconnectivity between the civil and political life and “need only know how to dream up witty replies in his study; write a beautiful letter; display intelligence and readiness in his conversation and his speech; weave a fraud; adorn himself with gems and gold; sleep and eat in a more splendid style than others; surround himself with a large number of courtesans; conduct himself in a miserly and arrogant manner with his subjects; rot in laziness; give military positions as favors; despise anyone who had shown them any praiseworthy path; and expect that their pronouncements be taken as oracles.” Did he foresee Trump half a millennium ago?

  11. 4 out of 5

    James

    This is a grind. I have read Art of War by Sun Tzu and On War (abridged) by Clausewitz. Both of those were philosophical, and got boring when they got into specific tactics. This book is incredibly boring, as it is almost entirely (obviously antiquated) tactics. It is also rather poorly written (or perhaps it's just a bad translation?). It is a completely flat writing style, put in the form of a dialogue about war tactics. There is none of the charm, aphorism, or wit seen in his infamous The Pri This is a grind. I have read Art of War by Sun Tzu and On War (abridged) by Clausewitz. Both of those were philosophical, and got boring when they got into specific tactics. This book is incredibly boring, as it is almost entirely (obviously antiquated) tactics. It is also rather poorly written (or perhaps it's just a bad translation?). It is a completely flat writing style, put in the form of a dialogue about war tactics. There is none of the charm, aphorism, or wit seen in his infamous The Prince, or the even better Discourses on Livy. It's a shame, too, as Machiavelli considered it his best. It is also a shame to me, because I had quite enjoyed learning more and more about Machiavelli, and assumed this would be more of the same. I think it would be a far better use of time to re-read Discourses, or one of the many Machiavelli biographies. There are a few on the TBR list, beyond the two I read this past summer.

  12. 4 out of 5

    P.H. Wilson

    Real rating: 8/10 It is a book on military strategy, not a philosophical tome. Though most works only become philosophical thanks to the retroactive nature of the scholars that come centuries later. One should not fault the work simply because you assumed that the author wrote only in one genre. Would one lambaste Beatrix Potter's early work because they thought her book on mushrooms would be about anthropomorphic ones rather than the scientific nature that it was. That fault lies with the reader Real rating: 8/10 It is a book on military strategy, not a philosophical tome. Though most works only become philosophical thanks to the retroactive nature of the scholars that come centuries later. One should not fault the work simply because you assumed that the author wrote only in one genre. Would one lambaste Beatrix Potter's early work because they thought her book on mushrooms would be about anthropomorphic ones rather than the scientific nature that it was. That fault lies with the reader. Those looking for Machiavelli's cynical humour are out of luck. So what is left if there is no philosophy or wit? A work that lays the foundation for war in Europe for the next four hundred years. And why is this of interest? To quote John Adams "I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy."

  13. 4 out of 5

    Karl

    Machiavelli thinks that Italy had fallen far behind the rest of Europe in military science and has become the "shame of the world." Italy must rediscover the methods of their ancestors to retain any dignity or even remain free from Spanish, French, or German domination. If "The Prince" could be boiled down to the question "What would Cesare Borgia do?", this book can be boiled down to "What would the ancient Romans do?" Machiavelli has a few fairly interesting sections discussing the economics o Machiavelli thinks that Italy had fallen far behind the rest of Europe in military science and has become the "shame of the world." Italy must rediscover the methods of their ancestors to retain any dignity or even remain free from Spanish, French, or German domination. If "The Prince" could be boiled down to the question "What would Cesare Borgia do?", this book can be boiled down to "What would the ancient Romans do?" Machiavelli has a few fairly interesting sections discussing the economics of raising and supporting armies, keeping the armies from turning rogue, cultivating strategic resources, and fostering military virtue among the people. His advise in the conduct of war and training an army is, in almost every regard, "do it like the Romans did". He updates the formations to account for pikemen, shield bearers, swordsmen, crossbowmen, and cannon. Where he recognizes that certain of the Roman techniques are unlikely to work in light of new technology, he proposes new methods and supports these observations with the practices of foreign armies. I think this is a better "Art of War" than both Sun Tzu's and Napoleon's... though I kinda liked to movie with Wesley Snipes.

  14. 5 out of 5

    *Giulia*

    È un libro breve ma estremamente noioso. Il più grande problema è la forma in cui è presentato. Machiavelli lo imposta come un dialogo tra amici: c’è il sapientone Fabrizio che risponde alle domande degli altri, ma a volte parla per pagine intere, tutto da solo. Poi ci sono gli amichetti, che ogni tanto intervengono, ma sono sempre d’accordo e sempre lo lodano. Le voci non sono distinte tra loro, anche se Machiavelli cambia interlocutore da una parte all’altra, la sostanza è invariata. Allora pe È un libro breve ma estremamente noioso. Il più grande problema è la forma in cui è presentato. Machiavelli lo imposta come un dialogo tra amici: c’è il sapientone Fabrizio che risponde alle domande degli altri, ma a volte parla per pagine intere, tutto da solo. Poi ci sono gli amichetti, che ogni tanto intervengono, ma sono sempre d’accordo e sempre lo lodano. Le voci non sono distinte tra loro, anche se Machiavelli cambia interlocutore da una parte all’altra, la sostanza è invariata. Allora perché non fare un trattato come dio comanda? Trovo molto fastidioso questo finto dialogo saccente. Altro problema è proprio l’argomento. A differenza dell’arte della guerra di Sun Tzu, che può essere letta e interpretata in vari modi, in quanto parla più spesso di strategia; questo invece si concentra sul funzionamento degli eserciti antichi, quindi ben poco moderno, subisce il passare del tempo. Se l’argomento può essere interessante, il formato in cui è proposto te ne fa passare la curiosità. A fine trattato mi è rimasto ben poco da ricordare. Tra la scrittura artificiosa e l’insofferenza dei dialoghi, ero semplicemente contenta di averlo finito.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ossian's Dream

    As a celebration and explanation of masculine virtues which are still highly applicable today, this book like most of Machiavelli's works is glorious and worthy of reading and re-reading. However, the old time strategy of pike and shot and crappy artillery is obviously tiresome and not very practical, only the description of the officers and the constant focus on the need for efficient teamwork and discipline between units is worth reading. Also the constant insults against the mediocrity of tho As a celebration and explanation of masculine virtues which are still highly applicable today, this book like most of Machiavelli's works is glorious and worthy of reading and re-reading. However, the old time strategy of pike and shot and crappy artillery is obviously tiresome and not very practical, only the description of the officers and the constant focus on the need for efficient teamwork and discipline between units is worth reading. Also the constant insults against the mediocrity of those who choose comfort over war, echos the words of Benjamin Franklin. "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."- in regards to surrendering states who did not take war or their own conquest seriously. and "Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today." - in regards to ignoring military and physical preparation politically and individually.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Daren

    I struggled with this one - and I suspect it was me, not the book. It was supposed to be a short book to read in short slots of time over a few days, but work gets busy, those times are not available and it all becomes disjointed. I couldn't get the flow if this writing, and couldn't extract the useful from the waffle. I know it is there somewhere, I saw it quoted in other reviews... just not this time. I shall endeavour to re-read, and will improve my review, and no doubt my rating... one day.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jan

    Zupełnie inna "Sztuka Wojny" niż ta Sun Tzu. Machiavelli poprzez dialog opowiada dosłownie o prowadzeniu wojska - treningu, dobieraniu żołnierzy, ustawieniu i organizacji armii, zakładaniu obozu, uzbrojeniu itd itp. Między wierszami można znaleźć parę uniwersalnych myśli, ale przede wszystkim jest to pozycja dla miłośników historii wojskowości.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Denis Slobodeniuk

    Цікаве джерело з історії військової справи Давнього Риму та Середньовічної Італії, але я очікував не цього. До універсального "Мистецтва війни" Сунь Цзи, з його порадами, які можна використати не тільки у військовій сфері, але й у політичній, не дотягує значно. Цілком не актуально, на відміну від "Державця". На жаль, тільки 2/5.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Cesar Ruiz

    Much like The Art of War by Sun Tzu, this book also presents useful lessons on strategy that one can widely apply in all areas of life. The wisdom behind it is made clear to the reader, and its most valuable lessons are in how to treat different people.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Alwaleed

    في بدء الامر لا يغرك اسم المؤلف و كتاب ايضا لا يدل عليه عنوانه . لا تدخل الكتاب وانت بذهنية ان تستفيد مثل كتاب فن الحرب لـسو تزو بل هو مراجعة لتنظيمات عسكرية في عصور قديمة لا تفيدك إلا في حالة اردت ان تعرف و ان تدرس تاريخ تلك التنظيمات انصح بقراءة فن لحرب لـسو تزو

  21. 4 out of 5

    Francisco Vicente

    A very good book. Goes well with Sun Tzu's "art of war" and Clausewitz's "on War".

  22. 4 out of 5

    Petra Hermans

    Strategy is only a word.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Julian Tambunan

    I’m not at any place and don’t have any right to judge or give a review about this book. If this is the only book exist in the universe...... ...... i can’t imagine what our world will become.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Douglas

    The greatest example of plagiarism.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Pj Byrne

    I was dissapointed by the book, mostly because I'd been spoiled by the philosophical musings on the art of war by authors like Clausewitz and Sun Tzu. Ultimately it comes down to the fact that Sun Tzu's 'The Art of War' and Clausewitz 'On War' are more about grand strategy and the philosophy behind them, ideas that are fundamentally unchanging. Machiavelli is clearly talking about the more tactical facets of warfare, and tactics, unlike the grand philosophy of strategy, changes far more often, a I was dissapointed by the book, mostly because I'd been spoiled by the philosophical musings on the art of war by authors like Clausewitz and Sun Tzu. Ultimately it comes down to the fact that Sun Tzu's 'The Art of War' and Clausewitz 'On War' are more about grand strategy and the philosophy behind them, ideas that are fundamentally unchanging. Machiavelli is clearly talking about the more tactical facets of warfare, and tactics, unlike the grand philosophy of strategy, changes far more often, an idea that can be clearly illustrated by a majority of the book being essentially useless musings on antiquated (by contemporary standards) tactics. The book does have it's moments, but unfortunately it's quite boring to read if you don't have a particular fascination with Renaissance warfare and the particulars of a hypothetical armies battalion size, encampment set up etc. Overall, I did enjoy the book, but my expectations were not fulfilled.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Talal

    I bought it by mistake looking for another"Art of war book" was dull hard to get through for a casual reader, but a good refrence for a scholar.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Savannah Watts

    The book Art of War, by Niccolò Machiavelli was written between 1519 and 1520. It is separated into a 'Preface' then later broken down into seven chapters. It is basically a dialogue that describes how Machiavelli thinks a proper war should be conducted. He goes into detail about proper usage of troops, where they should be put to become most useful. He also gives a very detailed description on the use of weapons such as firearms, and units such as cavalry. He does think that fire arms and caval The book Art of War, by Niccolò Machiavelli was written between 1519 and 1520. It is separated into a 'Preface' then later broken down into seven chapters. It is basically a dialogue that describes how Machiavelli thinks a proper war should be conducted. He goes into detail about proper usage of troops, where they should be put to become most useful. He also gives a very detailed description on the use of weapons such as firearms, and units such as cavalry. He does think that fire arms and cavalry are not as important as wars in the future would prove. But, he does also give a very smart and experience response because of his work when he was the Chancery of Florence. He describes how it was there that he truly saw how a government was run and what happens internally and how he wanted to fix it. Several of the things he says in this book I agree with, one of them is "Knowing how to fight made men more bold, because no one fears doing what it seems to him he has learned to do. Therefore, the ancients wanted their citizens to be trained in every warlike action." (74) This was when Machiavelli was stressing the importance of training men. He thinks that if you train your men properly there is no reason for them to be scared of fighting because they have been taught how to do so. Throughout the books he relies on the training of men to be responsible for victory in battle, but I think it takes a combination of strategy and the skill of men to achieve victory. One quote I do not agree with is one about how winning cancels any bad choice made by leaders. "A battle that you win cancels any other bad action of yours. In the same way, by losing one, all the good things worked by you before become vain." Although he points out that if you lose you become a sort of public enemy but when you win you get away with anything. Although it is something I do not agree with, it happens in wars today. For example, at the end of WWII, anything the Germans did was considered evil and the world wouldn't drop the image of the Nazi regime, but when our men committed atrocities in Japan while we were island hopping, it was okay because the Japanese picked a fight with us. Machiavelli uses excuses like this throughout the novel. I think that this is what really cause me to not like the book. But besides that, I think that Machiavelli thought long and hard about how he wanted wars to be conducted and hoped this would be the new way wars would be for years. He does agree with limited warfare, which is a good technique and shows he knows he doesn't want to completely destroy the people of the world. The claim he makes that I agree with most strongly is that war is an extension of politics. I couldn't agree with him more. I think that even back in his time wars that were conducted were a poor mans battle for a rich man's cause. That philosophy continued into the Revolution, the Civil War, all the way until Vietnam. Overall, I enjoyed reading this book. It gave me perspective as to what wars were like in the 1500's and how strangely there are still a lot of similarities. This book definitely has a bias to it, but I was well aware of that when I began reading it. This book, after all, was written purely of the opinion of Machiavelli so it would obviously have his opinions included. I think that the only way this book could be improved is if Machiavelli lived in modern times and saw the wars the world has witnessed since his time. If he had seen those wars then I think he would give an even more in depth glimpse into how wars should be handled.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Gary

    Typically when someone mentions they’re reading the Art of War, the famous book by Sun Tzu comes to mind. Niccolo Machiavelli however, more notoriously known for his work The Prince, wrote another by this same name. Written toward the later part of his life in Florence and published during the August of 1521, when it became apparent that he would not be returning to a life of public service, Machiavelli made the decision to write about warfare. Styled after Plato’s Republic, the book is based on Typically when someone mentions they’re reading the Art of War, the famous book by Sun Tzu comes to mind. Niccolo Machiavelli however, more notoriously known for his work The Prince, wrote another by this same name. Written toward the later part of his life in Florence and published during the August of 1521, when it became apparent that he would not be returning to a life of public service, Machiavelli made the decision to write about warfare. Styled after Plato’s Republic, the book is based on discussions he had with scholars and friends on whether the practices and tactics of the ancients were superior to those employed in their day. Unfortunately a great part of the book delves into the proper armaments and ordering necessary to field a victorious army, making large tracts rather boring. Of course that said, there are some interesting insights on human nature, that any good general must take heed of should they wish to field a successful campaign, drawing upon historical anecdotes over a range of periods, including the fifteenth century that was increasingly relying upon the use of artillery. But in the end it is Rome that holds his praise; which is rather romanticized throughout Machiavelli’s Art of War. Definitely something I would only recommend to readers interested in warfare tactics, or looking to expand upon their Machiavelli readings. http://www.cultureaddicthistorynerd.c...

  29. 4 out of 5

    Hans

    Machiavelli has some interesting ideas about War and differs in parts from Clausewitz. He advocates that a stable society is built upon the foundation of a well-ordered and disciplined military. This foundation is a highly trained state-militia and is held together by good leadership, discipline, love of country etc. He even goes on to say that Religion is very useful and should be utilized to compel men to fight. He believes that the best armies are primarily infantry and that the soldiers shoul Machiavelli has some interesting ideas about War and differs in parts from Clausewitz. He advocates that a stable society is built upon the foundation of a well-ordered and disciplined military. This foundation is a highly trained state-militia and is held together by good leadership, discipline, love of country etc. He even goes on to say that Religion is very useful and should be utilized to compel men to fight. He believes that the best armies are primarily infantry and that the soldiers should be farmers because they can handle the hard toil of being a soldier (there is probably a lot of truth to this). Discipline trumps passion in his opinion and will win out every time. He bases most of his assumptions on the Roman Legions and even says they provide the most excellent model of a well-structured and deadly military. Since war is inevitable because it is part of human nature the state that is the most prepared for war is also the state that is the most secure. Always bring the war to the enemy, keep the initiative, adapt if necessary, know when to retreat and when to commit all of your forces.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ambrosia Sullivan

    This review was posted on my book blog The Purple Booker first. When people hear the name Niccolò Machiavelli they tend to think of The Prince, it is by far his most well known book, but certainly not his only one. Machiavelli was a hugely prolific writer and although only a few ( I don't know the exact number off the top of my head) of his works were published in his life time but thankfully we have his works now. Other people hear the name Niccolò Machiavelli and think of immorality and many o This review was posted on my book blog The Purple Booker first. When people hear the name Niccolò Machiavelli they tend to think of The Prince, it is by far his most well known book, but certainly not his only one. Machiavelli was a hugely prolific writer and although only a few ( I don't know the exact number off the top of my head) of his works were published in his life time but thankfully we have his works now. Other people hear the name Niccolò Machiavelli and think of immorality and many other unkind thoughts because of the way his work is. So, well Machiavellian. A third group will hear the name Niccolò Machiavelli and think of this guy: Okay, perhaps a shameless excuse to use a picture in my review, something I don't usually do. Anyways, I digress. I have always enjoyed reading Machiavelli, yes, he is a little dark overall. However, within that darkness is an honest look at the human condition and all that comes with it. Most think of a completely different book when they think of The Art of War and so perhaps they they have some disappointment in this book because of that. This is one book that has been sitting on my TBR for a while and was one that I did not read before now. The Art of War by Niccolò Machiavelli is like any of his works an insightful look and for me another great read. It takes a solid look at military maneuvers and the history of them. If you like reading military works this is a book that you shouldn't skip IMO. This one ranks up there with Caesars's Gallic wars for me. The theory and strategies that are brought up in this book is just as relevant today as it was when first written down. As much as I enjoyed another solid classic, this book also makes me a little bit sad. That sadness comes from looking at just how little the world has changed in all of this time. We are still highly war driven as a race and I suspect that will never change and so we will always need books like this.

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